One thousand years from today
there will still be equinoxes and
ocean currents. Most mountains
will look identical from a distance —
perhaps less snow on the peaks,
perhaps glaciers will still be gone,
but the jagged horizon will be the same
and that which is highest will still be highest.
Certainly, there will be beaches. They will look
like beaches we know, although they’ll be
in different places and it may not be pleasant
to stare too deeply into what makes up the sand.
Trees, yes; flowers, yes. Creeper bushes
and stinging nettles, yes; creeping insects
and stinging beetles, yes. Some being will leap
from the ocean near shore. It may no longer
bear any name we’ve given it. Language
may or may not last, even if people do.
If people have survived, they will have changed.
Instead of naming what they see,
they will instead have listened
and learned what other beings
call themselves. To survive,
they will have had to learn that.