“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.

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.


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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