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Clade Song Left

Clothesline for the Sixth Extinction

One end hitched to an iceberg’s spire, the other looped
on the limb of a dragon tree, we string the cord across

oceans, continents, the grind of tectonic plates. Beneath,
we line up red rover-style, protest-style, arms linked

together, feet planted firm in the parched or flooded earth.
One of us holds a basket of pegs, another stands ready

to hoist and pin. When the animals come—some sprinting,
some barely able to lift flipper, paw, appendage, or fin—

our bodies collide with their bodies. We run our fingers
through manes and feathers, allow the many-legged to drum

at our skin. The line grows crowded with striped and spotted
pelts. We clip some by their tails, some by antler or wing.

They roar and screech until they settle in their dangling,
every eye turned toward the precipice. The horizon flares

at its edge. An elephant sways by its unironed trunk,
balanced by the massive teardrop of a whale, fluke fastened

toward the sky. They hang as hurricanes pummel, waters rise,
or wind whips the ground to blinding dust. We lean our heads

on each other’s shoulders, clasp hands as we catch and catch.
The line bows, we secure each talon and claw again and again.

But there at the end, a small shift when our backs are turned.
A pair of hairstreak wings unlatches, disappears into the blue.






Clade Song Right
Brittney Corrigan

Brittney Corrigan is the author of the poetry collections DaughtersBreakingNavigation, and 40 Weeks. Solastalgia, a collection of poems about climate change, extinction, and the Anthropocene Age, is forthcoming from JackLeg Press in 2022. Brittney was raised in Colorado and has lived in Portland, Oregon for the past three decades, where she is an alumna and employee of Reed College. She is currently at work on her first short story collection. For more information, visit