The smoke detector, the car alarm, the ambulance siren all sounding at once.
The day you decide to leave your job. The day you decide
to stay. A scalpel, a resident’s hands fumbling, your son’s cries, screeching seagulls
over the ocean. The Lord has stretched out his hand over the sea . . .
small island nations preparing for the onslaught . . . Wail, you people of the island . . .
below gas flares, sulfuric dioxide, methane, acid rain. And despair, my body a fallen
tree. So let 350 be the bridge I become lifting my child
when our kayak doesn’t meet the dock. Fighting to get back 350: hydroponic
tomatoes, hoop-house lettuce, neighbors planting pawpaw trees.
My man pushing a wheelbarrow, bending to gather storm-tossed sticks. 350 is more
bike lanes, more skateboards. More darning of socks. My daughter
about to be born: too late for a heparin lock, a heart monitor—only the power
within me, the pain for which I’ve longed, and her release into
our world gone beyond its limit. Contract. Push. Put a door in the side
of the ark and make lower, middle, and upper decks. 350,
let it be a boomerang, a ricochet. A beeswax candle on my birthday cake.
350, your husband, daughter . . . and you will enter . . .sister, lover, lifelong partner snugged against the fine ark of your ribs.
I lose my balance, gazing at your high skull, your sloped tusks, infinity
of a theory, what man will do in a new world, boundless and crawling
We were slight. We were furred and moon-eyed, and you continued
Now there’s no limit to what these hands might do.
over bogs and ice. At night, fears cluster, an entire constellation:
packed with smog, carpenter ants tunneling the bedroom walls.
hold my arms out to everything perilous and glowing.
Eleven thousand years ago, another mammal crossed a river.
Some days I bow down and touch the grass.
Body of Evidence
Last night, we watched whole forests blaze, we watched a cliff face
No spirit but ours hovering over the waters, sculpting the earth until it’s good.
Who’s ready to be a god?
Boiling water for spaghetti, I think not I. Dropping water bottles
as Jonah, asleep in the innermost bowels of a ship.
As a child, I tongued Sunday’s scrap of bread, testing the edges
Wind ruined Job’s children, the house collapsing in on them.
His own body festered, swathed in scabs and worms.
a merciless frontier. Take my hand, I’m sinking.
Job cries out for an answer, receives questions: Where were you
given orders to the morning, or shown the dawn its place?
I’m not asking to be saved.
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