Obsolescence is the leading product of our national infatuation with technology, and I now believe that obsolescence is not a darkness but a beauty.
-Jonathan Franzen, “Scavenging”
Scientists flip up a fern deep in the forest. Beneath
it is a yellow frog, the likes of which we have never seen.
Over the next month, thousands of dead yellow frogs
stiffen on the ground, dead just as we learn of them.
Species disappear every day. The same velocity
is invoked in the illustration of crashing anvils.
Whoosh, thud. The departures hang around
above us like smog. Grief is thick and sticky.
The jungle of loss is not all translucent blowfish
and tree frogs. People fall. We’re hoarse from
calling out Timber! to warn one another.
With every individual, an ability is extinguished.
One day, the last woman to never have a cell phone
will die. The final speaker of an exquisite dialect.
Information dies this way. No more phonograph needle
replacement experts or cassette thread weavers.
Recipes for cold soups will go, and some large truth
will be revealed as pseudoscience. The nature
of all interplanetary substance: things go away.
We wave, and soon forget what our hand is doing.