at the Landscape Evolution Observatory, Biosphere 2
We might say that articulate drainage is the key.
This requires scoria— basaltic tephra ground, homogeneous loamy sand. Three black slopes. Sunlit cables silvered foil shadowed greens of nascent biomes. Pugnacious bulbs, we’ll drop you in like flowers on Mars. Sensors, 2873, cups of mimic slants cruxed beneath glass and pyloned by degrees, they’ll find you, parables flexed from data.
It’s morning. Climb this ladder. Crane your neck.
Get schooled with the burly lysimeter’s lessons : how water bedraggles and where in air and what’s lost.
A technician or a poet whistles tomorrow, its 3 syllables like past like now like tomorrow.
Because while things make do— there is coyote scat
by this nexus—we do things to make things right as rain.
All this time, we’ve been glubbing dinosaur blood, comet water, noctilucent clouds, the entire Western Interior Seaway
suggestive vapors to calibrate now and again, to ship from knowing magnificent struts, elegant pour from all stomata, fetched and fashioned inside our beauty factory.
Christopher Cokinos is the author of the lyric essay collection Bodies, of the Holocene, and a poetry chapbook Held as Earth, in addition to the research-based narrative nonfiction books Hope Is the Thing with Feathers and The Fallen Sky. With Eric Magrane, he is a co-editor of the forthcoming A Literary Field Guide to the Sonoran Desert. He directs the Creative Writing Program at the University of Arizona, where is he also a 2014-2015 Udall Center Environmental Policy Fellow. Earlier this year, he was a crew journalist at the Mars Desert Research Station. He has work recent or forthcoming in Orion, the Los Angeles Times, Extrapolation, Western Humanities Review, and december.