Somewhere from the diagrammatic stolon
of overgrown seagrasses, a voice carries
to the surface—to live radical compassion,
not just speak of it. The spiders still have not forgiven
me. The fish kill cited in the civil suit just a bead
in the course of stories scrolling by in my palm
like air pockets in rain—over 600,000 displaced
in Sri Lanka, two hundred dead and counting.
This is late May, 2017 AD. Flashbacks
of headlines some years back—
that heatwave which claimed some 2,000
in India but can this be more than read, felt
as the steadfast lamprey must feel, mooring
the stones of its own deathbed in the cool
lunar hollows? How it must feel, to prescribe
a burn, to watch the Oroville overflow with
predictions, the denial, no more water
in the pail! No more moon in the water!
What blame can be placed on the government
now? Someone says relief and means it.
Suppose blood could be set afire
with a simple question. Suppose we could
touch through the screen. Suppose speeding,
solitary, down the breathing highways
at the center of me, a course burns
its engine towards a future where hope
has long gone become obsolete.