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Romulus to Brother Remus

poetry by Erin Hanyu Lynch

Romulus To Brother Remus

“People are changing Earth so much, warming and polluting it, 

that many scientists are turning to a new way to describe the time we live in. 

They’re calling it the Anthropocene — the age of humans.”

-Seth Borenstein, The Associated Press (1)



I began pumping you full of poison

long ago, slipped just beneath the skin

then veins pulsing black, labyrinthine 

network of toxin. I was cautious;

you, resistant, bewildered—eyes starry

wide. And scientists called it 

the Anthropocene: I, Anthropos; you, static

beneath my feet. History would have us

believe you died quick and bled slow,

a fratricide too swift to fault

me, but this was a calculated game

from the start, and the gleam

in my eyes flickered frigid as you

fleshed into the soil of my young

empire. Death nothing more 

than a chore to complete. Life nothing 

more than the conquest of worlds: intersection

of blood and desire. I want 

to expand outward, to explore—

to clutch the cosmos in my fist. To 

leave you behind, curled fragile- 

small, brother bruised 



Before the Anthropocene, you and I

suckled on wolf-mother’s teat. Carnivorous

already, milk of a blood-seeker’s breasts

catching fire in our stomachs, we were bred

to kill.

(1) Borenstein, Seth. “With Their Mark on Earth, Humans May Name Era, Too.” Associated Press News. October 14, 2014. Accessed November 29, 2019.

When I Say Environmentalist,

I Mean

poetry by Erin Hanyu Lynch

When I Say Environmentalist, I Mean

Mangled moonlight tonight— 

Or: the hacking of helicopters, 

such vicious sound groping

at the air. The sky only a slim column 

of throat, purpled under the fingers 

of Man Himself. O Mother, what we do

to You. One continent south, 

green lungs shrivel black. I understand.

Bodies like mine have known this violence

for generations.


Erin Hanyu Lynch

Erin Hanyu Lynch is a rising freshman at the University of Chicago. The queer hapa daughter of an author-gardener and a gardener-neuroscientist, she harbors a fierce passion for writing and for climate justice—often, both at once. Two of her poems have appeared in the September 2018 issue of the Rising Phoenix Review. She sometimes appears on Twitter @paintedxlady.

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