The Human Genre Project


creatures, a foot
or so shorter than i,
slashed their hands at
enemies they saw
in the water as they drank.

when the shivering visages
trembled back together,
they again flung
their arms to attack.
this enemy didn't die.
they fumed and growled
at those reflections, what
humanity could not understand
it hurtled itself against.
staring. smiling.

five million years later
humans wandered out
to the same clear waters,
gazed down at ourselves
and smiled. we knew
it was our reflection.

then night fell, and what was
once a small puddle turned
into the ocean, and what
was once our faces
in the water turned
into the cosmos and
the stars. and again
we flung our arms-
and again
the visage shivered
and trembled back.

Richard Alan Herbert