in the event of a lack of oxygen

By | 1 February 2020

HOLD the earth in your hands / be careful––she is hot / talk
to her tenderly the way you might your mother at the end of
her days / honour her / place her somewhere she might rest/
perhaps the mantle piece between your bone-china swallow
mid-flight & your fake brass barometer the shape of a ship’s

wheel that will not steer us out of the storm we are in /
despite her dishevelment, tell her how lovely she looks /
offer her tea / a scone / horlicks if it still exists / slip her
feet into soft slippers / massage her shoulders rounded
from the burden you have placed on them / cradle her in
your arms /

now go to the mountains / yes, go / facetime will not suffice /
tell them you are sorry / return with no selfies––this is not the
time / now go to the rivers / listen to them / let them tell you
their stories / do not interrupt with your lies about your
recycling / like you are not guilty of slipping glass jars

& clean cardboard into the wrong bin / now get down on
your knees & beg their forgiveness / do not worry their
banks are no longer muddy your levis will stay dry /
understand in the event of a lack of oxygen no yellow
masks will drop from the sky / remove your stilettos /
leave all your personal belongings behind / tip toe

past earth’s bed / leave a note under her pillow / apologise
profusely / tell her you’d drunk too much / that you weren’t
in your right mind / that you didn’t realise just how much
you’d loved her till she was gone /

speak when she speaks to you / if your shame will allow
it make eye contact / answer her questions with an honesty
that will feel alien to you:

yes we had ample opportunity / yes money
was more important than water & air / yes
we’re tired of our empty promises too / yes
coal yes carbon yes methane yes plastic /
yes dollars yes pounds yes euros yes yen /
yes vegan yes sweat shops yes you warned
us no we didn’t listen / yes we saw the signs
yes we ignored them / yes the bees are in
default / yes the banks are foreclosing their
hives / yes we should have planted more
lavender more rosemary more bottle brush /
yes flooding yes fire yes species extinction /
yes we should have been kinder / yes we
should have stopped to think before we
fucked her / yes we should have pulled out
sooner / yes oral contraceptives yes STDs /
yes we should have used a condom /
yes we are sorry / yes
look at this mess now.

This entry was posted in 95: EARTH and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

Related work:

Comments are closed.