Extinction Prayer

I didn’t mean to go extinct. It’s just

yesterday ten thousand squid dried

to paper on the beach, their big eyes

watching the sun wake red on the sea.


And a woman on the bus said a prayer

for two million dead bees — anyone

could tell she really meant it. She held

her hands so tightly together they lost


all their blood, gasped ghost white.

Sometimes a person gets taken over,

wants so much to put the dead back

in the womb that her belly bleeds open.


Whoever finds the scabs below her ribs

will find the hours she rode waves bare

to the shore — for the squid, maybe,

for a woman on the bus. For a host


too small. A skin too often turned red

from light and all its damage, the color

light leaves behind to say Sorry. Never

really meant for any of this to happen.

Danielle Weeks received her MFA in poetry through Eastern Washington University's creative writing program, where she also served as the poetry editor for Willow Springs. Her work has been published in Cobalt Review,Hayden's Ferry Review, and Nashville Review, among others.