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Six Maxims for the Sixth Mass Extinction

1.
Be creaturely, mammal; mother or redolent other.

2.
Remember your nakedness, nimble in skin—to be & be. Hemmed within this body. Its ooze. Its fixity.

3.
Rejoice. You are livable after all. Imagine your brain as you might imagine starlings in murmuration—a nucleus uplifting.

4.
See bee colonies collapsing. Calamities. Persist. Kindly outlast the apocalypse without causing it. Wield neither boot nor fume. Cherish life ant-by-ant, swarm & herd, the superflux, the flourishing.

5.
Glut yourself on existence. Read about two ornithologists witnessing the black-naped pheasant pigeon again after 140 years lost to science. Imagine them tracking it through Papua New Guinea amidst thickets of nippy insects, rivers whipping around ridges, all the way to an understory where the bird persists, more myth than living memory, flipping its tail, flaunting its poncho of rust-gold feathers, every movement a dance, a defiance.

6.
Say “good morning” to the man sweeping maple seeds from his driveway. It’s all he can do to forestall a future without civilization: one so luscious, so eager to take hold; know that you, too, are searching for a balance between letting go & not being overtaken.