The island I live on is sinking and no one is doing a thing.
Every morning rises one minute earlier than the last
minute earlier, still I heave to
red skies and lumber outside
of my sleeping-shack and gaze
at the scissors of silver
cutting closer and closer
the sheer golden thigh of my
slivered gold beach until they bite
at my toes and the soft underparts of my
house which trembles
more and more each day
waiting for the pitch to arrive that will shatter
the glass. But because disaster is still hanging over
and not beneath
us, we stand and look
at the sea
like you look at your thirteen-year-old daughter
like nothing is different, like your metal detectors don’t recognize
the slice of red beneath the eye,
like you drive her and drop her
at school every day and let the tide
traffic your hours back.
we are born with two billion heartbeats
to spend as we wish.
Fall in love and tumble
uphill and feel the edge
of a cliff and heaven kissing inside
and you condemn yourself to an early death.
But, build yourself a windowless tower and sit watching cooking shows hour by hour
and you will enjoy a plentitude of years
each gray as dishwater, six feet shallower.
Every heartbeat closer than the next.
In the red morning I cannot cry
as I watch the grand boulders that were my thighs
collapse under the acid chains of foam
as I feel the body
I am inside
sinking heavier beneath two billion unmarked stones
As I take another bite of oatmeal, another sip of sky,
Gazing into those bitter-salt red-rimmed eyes
Seeing nothing important.
Image credits in order of appearance:
By Makemake at the German language Wikipedia, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=301667
By Alejandra Edwards – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=21846171