n . Any of the numerous extinct marine arthropods of the class Trilobita, of the Paleozoic era, having a segmented exoskeleton divided by grooves or furrows into three longitudinal lobes.
–The American Heritage Dictionary
You had no cell phones–
the sea was sweet without
satellite communication or
the latest coffeehouse in Prague.
In fact, given fossil photographs–
shovel-headed centipede spider-thing–
you make the horseshoe crab
who lately spawned at Brigantine
appear the chic Manhattanite.
If, as I recall, you perished at the Permian frontier,
could you clear something up: what's death-by-asteroid
feel like? My species is conducting little tests.
No asteroids–we're not Zeus yet,
but cowfart, Oldsmobiles, and the mysteries of Wal-Mart
pull a whack-job on the kingdoms of the living.
Does it hurt?
Is it a hoot?
Do extinction-angels giggle as the last of you bite it?
Is it being sealed in glass,
Sleeping Beauty with no prince to kiss 'er?
Or driving Jersey's Turnpike when everyone has EZ-Pass
and you've got a quarter.
Maybe you should save your breath.
Just answer this:
Did you pardon the bullet that ended your age,
or sit at forever's big-dish TV
rooting for mammals to die in a blur
of scorched milk and burnt fur?