“Permian Sea”

A Poem by Logen Cure, from Welcome to Midland

August 6, 2021  By Logen Cure

My father told me
once all this desert was vast inland sea:
all mollusks and trilobites,
amphibians bigger than my imagination.
He pointed westward,
explained the Guadalupe Mountains
are an enormous ancient reef.
All this, he said,
everything was water.

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Then the sea stagnated,
temperature skyrocketed,
acid rained from the sky,
everything died:
the most massive extinction
in recorded history.
All those fossils,
oil now. Of course.

I was born here,
to the pasture,
spiny mesquites,
cracked red earth.
I imagined being born underwater,
born a suggestion
of what’s to come,
something so basic
it could survive
when earth starts over,
a nautilus, maybe,
all tentacles, no memory.

I dreamed of it, the sea
before its horrific death,
before millions of years
sun blazed over lifeless desert.
Sometimes, waking I thought
I heard the waves.


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Welcome to Midland by Logen Cure

Excerpted from Welcome to Midland by Logen Cure. Used with the permission of Deep Vellum. Copyright © 2021 by Logen Cure.

Logen Cure
Logen Cure
Logen Cure is a queer poet and professor. She is the author of three chapbooks: Still, Letters to Petrarch, and In Keeping. She curates Inner Moonlight, a monthly reading series for The Wild Detectives in Dallas. She earned her MFA in Creative Writing from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. She lives in Dallas/Fort Worth, Texas.

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