Life Expectancy

Devon Walker-Figueroa

Life Expectancy

It’s 2016, just after gravity’s first speech.

Here I am, lying in the dirt, attempting to sense

the rotation of an earth I imagine

to be singular in space.

I watch the breathable take

shape, though my eyes are inadequate, poised

between nanobes and primitive galaxies. You’ll find me

at my sewing machine, soon enough, mending

the spacesuit I inherited

from a chimpanzee who never knew he was

heroic or beloved. I’m running

on memory, congratulating myself on having survived

prehistory, when my clothes rotted off

and my hair was its own

ecosystem. I want my cave back. I want the paintings I exhaled

in my own blood

to be saved in Technicolor, for the earth to unswallow

a feast of dawns, just so I can pierce

the heart of an unnamed animal.


Devon Walker-Figueroa lives in Iowa City, where she serves as the poetry editor of The Iowa Review and as co-founding editor of Horsethief Books. Her poems have appeared or are forthcoming in BOAAT, Permafrost, Fjords Review, and Southword. In her free time, she plays the harp and dreams of adopting a capybara.