Terror Management Theory

To measure humanity’s purpose
in hunger and funerals, count
divots in the bark of an oak
tree. The voids collect

raindrops, nestle the beetle
and the worm. In the hollows
that litter our peripheral
vision, measure humanity

as the depth of a stomach
or the depth of a grave.
I want to believe everything
tossed in a hole hits a bottom.

When another body greets the earth
I try to ignore the silence that follows.

 

 

–from Claim Tickets for Stolen People, ©2022 Ohio State University Press

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