to your next bite of uni sushi

The name sunflower sea star
is more precise than starfish,
the twenty-four-legged creature
not being a fish. The sea star,
which devours sea urchins,
is dying out, a tenth of them

Warming waters?

Scientists estimate
that in the last few years
the number of sea urchins
in the northern Pacific
has increased by 10,000%,
the sea urchins devouring
forests of kelp.

leaves me far out at sea,
splashing about, such a percentage
too large to take in, at once
overwhelmingly precise
and imprecise.

But such growth
means everything to the species
that have lost their habitat—
now reduced to an ocean floor
with stipes that are stripped of blades
surrounded by sea urchins,

too few sea stars on the prowl.

About the Poem

A response to reading that started with the Times articles. Combines a mystification about how to calculate the notion of 10,000% with worries about the results of global warming. The image I mainly have in mind is included in the second link I provide: https://www.oregonlive.com/news/2019/10/sea-urchins-are-devouring-oregon-coast-kelp-uncharted-territory-for-marine-ecosystem.html

About the Author

William Aarnes lives in New York (and does not particularly care for sushi).

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *