What if you couldn’t smell smoke?
Or detect flirty signs from a bloke?
Imagine the cost
Of faculties lost,
Of signals that deafness would cloak …
On reefs, it’s chemical cues
That life-forms will commonly use;
With acid on rise,
A fatal surprise:
What senses might reef-critters lose?
This is one in a series of poems written by Katherine Allen, a researcher in geochemistry and paleoclimate at the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory and the Institute of Marine and Coastal Sciences at Rutgers University.