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By Hannah J.
age: 17
New York

In the Malay Archipelago,
Wallace's resentment crossbreeds with the birds
(but shuns, on principle, the finches) -

and, on the Principle of Populations,
that initial inspiration, we watch our numbers
grow by exponential innovation.

These many what-we-know-now's later
we classify, experiment,
attempt to name the beetles -

all the beetles - gas the trees, and name the beetles -
but what compels us? Naming beetles? -
must we truly name the beetles -

lifetimes spent on naming beetles?

Or muck in mud to understand the nematode
(unknown to man, this worm who may or may not
vary in the hundreds) pulsing through the wet dirt.

Science perseveres, elementary evolution,
roots out the untold mysteries of life:
a million undiscovered fungi,

a common European bat who is not one
but rather, two,
and multiplying multitudes of mammals

making up some hundred annual additions.
The earth shakes! with their numbers,
and heaves, and stretches, with their sighs

and their size - well, the smaller they are
the more we search to specify.

It has become our latest task of hubris,
until we are naming microorganisms mercilessly,
desperate to turn our Adam atoms

back towards Eden.

Out of the wet mud
one single cell yearned for more
and then, divided.

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