The Conservation of Matter
Consider the disappearing moose.
Years ago, when we first rented this house,
my wife and I watched a cow and her calf
trundle across the lawn below the porch,
the site of our morning coffee rite.
Over the years, moose sightings persisted,
always droll, if seldom so picturesque.
But, now, these charismatic mega-fauna
–moose, I mean– seem scarcer than hens’ teeth,
the cause, a massive drainage of blood
by winter tics fleeing climate change.
When the flesh of a moose that wastes and dies
sustains a myriad of tics and flies,
has the biomass been re-stabilized?
The other day, again on the porch,
in the midst of the morning coffee rite,
a white moth vanished from my field of sight.
Hovering for a moment above the boards,
it gave way to the jagged silhouette
of a burn mark, or moth-shaped knot hole.
Matter conserved, at least in metaphor.
Coming closer to bone, for eons now,
Science has known that a decomposing corpse
maintains the balance of the ecosphere.
These days, before Death turns up at the door,
many of us choose to be cremated.
Alive, we save nada y pues nada, *
but, once we’re dust, conservation kicks in.
Humans, moose, waste and die; moths transmogrify.
The conservation of matter applies.
* “nothing, and more nothing” –Spanish
— District Lit, Nov. 2017