The New York Times Asks, Can Women Save the World?

Caits Meissner

And the old National Geographic falls open

to center spread: a gruesome slaughterhouse photo.

To answer your question, some days I am the brutalized:

once-elephant, an animal-shaped sack hooked

& suspended over bloodied lab coats. Others, I am

the feeling (I imagine), satisfying, of such thick meat

cleaved clean from the rib, brutalizer, polishing

tusks white as the hands that severed the bone.

Take this morning, for example, laying in bed for hours

fuming against people I love. It is not fair, I know,

how I discriminate most against my own weakness.

Will I end up like him? Do I sound like her?

Have I done that terrible thing? I have. I stew

in the stone soup I hoard in the kitchen, eating alone.

I find the whole scandal of living hilarious,

not funny ha-ha but impossible awe: how my hope

is both climbing a rope out of this world and bound

& gagged in the basement. Which means: purgatory.

World? I place my bets on wherever the rocketship

is headed. What is a woman but a human concept?

Most days, you can find me licking my opposable

thumbs of their capture. The world?

I fear it is over. Women are what we are.

Still a member of our terrible species.

Still�the most dangerous animal on earth.