Social Contract by Rachel Willems

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The politeness, not leaving any butter in the jam,
or jam in the butter, or shoes in the hall.
Not leaving any residue of who did what. Not leaving,
for that matter. One glass of wine while I make dinner,
while I rub our cut of salmon with honey and salt,
you read me the newsour division of labor.
In the tundra, in the burrow of an ancient squirrel,
Russian scientists found several pieces of fruit
frozen 30,000 years, and mostly intact.
The seeds were long dead, but from surrounding cells
(You move a bit closer to show me the picture)
they claim to have grown this extinct, flowering plant.


Rachel Willems is an American poet and fiction writer. She lives in Boston, Massachusetts with her husband and young son.