Poetry & Democracy

In Line to Vote on Our Future Climate

In Line to Vote on Our Future Climate

Years from now—
            after the ice caps
                            & the asteroid;
after the stars have died

            & we receive word
            of their passing,

but before the melting
            point has sung
                            some lullaby
of mercury always tugging

            closer that sun
            we did not know

to fear; after the heat
            has become so rote
                            we cannot recreate
much less recollect

            the feeling of cool
            or of breeze & even

stones quit carrying
            any memory of chill—
                            I will think of your
body cracked open

            at the center
            like the surface

of the Susquehanna
            in deep December,
                            the cool field
of your thigh against

            my cheek, the creek
            of me sprung cold

from sleep. I will keep
            for myself
                            the moment
before all this: the sand

            & the wasteland
            it made of us—

the day we woke & green
            in all its iterations
                            had abandoned us
& with it the earth—after

            the famine but before
            the drought, when

you fed my wet breath
            into the hot terrarium
                            of you still chilled
at the edges by less natural

            disasters. Like
            the neighbor boy

who told you where
            in the snow you should
                            put your bare hand
& for how long you should

            leave it. How it was
            returned to you still

fixed to your arm
            but so cold it
                            nearly boiled,
so blue it was ablaze.

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