Poets for Science
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Self Portrait 3030

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Self Portrait 3030

 

By the time the blubber

and soft tissue

of the last surviving

whale has been stripped

from the carcass

by hagfish and crabs,

and the skeleton exposed,

my cremated remains

will have been fish food

for centuries

and the vibrating atoms recycled

in multifarious 

ways.

In 3030 my atoms will be ready 

for new life

in the body 

of Osedax roseus,

a “bone eating zombie worm”

settled on one of the cathedral ribs,

in the decades-long sulfophilic stage of decomposition.

Always one to collaborate,

with no eyes or mouth,

I, a macroscopic female

containing dozens of microscopic males,

will work with symbiotic bacteria

to be break down

the whalebone proteins and lipids. 

Alongside a raft of my cousins,

we will waft in synchrony,

in an impression of voluptuous 

red hair,

like mine in my youth.

I will herald successive generations

of Osedax worms,

once newly researched on the whale fall

Rosebud, sunk in 2011,

back when

scientists 

thought

they

could

save mankind.