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Wednesday, April 18, 2018


by Richard Meyer

The male ostracod Cypideis salebrosa, his genitals shaded in the photograph. (Maria João Fernandes Martins)

By studying dozens of fossilized ostracods, [researchers] have found that species where males . . .  have larger penises—disappear far more quickly. They say that it’s not size that matters, but what you do with it; what ostracods do with it is go extinct. —The Atlantic, 11 April 2018

Attention homo sapiens—
the men, that is, the average ones,
the less endowed below the belt—
that insufficiency you’ve felt
is but a myth—you’re now set free
by studies in biology.

Among the creatures in the sea,
the species known as ostracods
whose males possessed prodigious rods
became extinct while others thrived.

No longer lacking, flawed, deprived,
with evolution on your side,
embrace your normal tools with pride
and know in life, to their chagrin,
the biggest pricks don’t always win.

Richard Meyer’s poems have appeared in various publications, including Able Muse, The Raintown Review, Think, Measure, Light, TheNewVerse.News, Alabama Literary Review, and The Evansville Review. He was awarded the 2012 Robert Frost Farm Prize for his poem “Fieldstone” and was the recipient of the 2014 String Poet Prize for his poem “The Autumn Way.” A book of his collected poems, Orbital Paths, was a silver medalist winner in the 2016 IBPA Benjamin Franklin Awards.