“THERE’S NO THROUGH TRAIL” —HAN-SHAN, TRANSLATED BY GARY SNYDER
/ Doomsday Vault

Doomsday Vault

by Jerry Lieblich

this is where the seeds
are kept, in a coal mine

husk, vacuum-packed, electronically

frozen, as if
unentangled; as if the dead

avifauna (“3 billion 
birds, or 29% of 1970 

abundance”) care

to know their deletion
has economic consequence.

this is where we count
the data, process “loss

in abundance” — 
this is how

the graph gets made.

*

“our ability to monitor 
many species

over vast 
spatial scales

far exceeds
that of any other

animal group.”

*

this seed is from Syria.
this one’s Lebanese —

heirlooms, saved,

in flagged 
dirt plots.  here, 

imperial eyes
can’t help

but see double
binds and binaries, peace

keeping good
regimes, disentangled, split —

this is how we’ve been made

dependent
on death, made

to know ends

Jerry Lieblich

About Jerry Lieblich

Jerry Lieblich (they/them) writes plays and poems in Fayetteville AR and elsewhere.  Plays include D Deb Debbie Deborah (Clubbed Thumb – Critic’s Pick: NY Times), Tongue Depressor (The Public Theatre), Nostalgia is a Mild Form of Grief (Playwrights Horizons), Ghost Stories (Critic’s Pick: TimeOut NY), The Barbarians (New York Theatre Workshop), and Everything for Dawn (Experiments in Opera).  Their poetry has appeared in or is forthcoming in Foglifter, Grist, SOLAR, Pomona Valley Review, and Works and Days.  Jerry has held residencies at MacDowell, MassMoCA, Blue Mountain Center, Millay Arts, NACL, SPACE on Ryder Farm, and UCROSS, and is a Wallis Annenberg Helix Fellow with Yiddishkayt. MFA: Brooklyn College.

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