The great misfortunes of our time involve losing places we love to our industrial specie’s lust for more. What is enough? In moments of candor I know I can’t answer that question honestly and apply it to my habits because our whole way of living in this mechanized world involves no temperance. That way lies despair.
“Near Big Hollow”
One hundred unblinking eyes stare, framed by red false shutters.
Each new townhouse, a pressed block dropped on this dry clay,
men in worn denim assembled from glossy instruction booklets
bought from a copper-tipped salesman in the mall’s toy store.
Dust flings through chestnut’s bough onto a black oak’s roots.
The robin’s eggs crack and spill their thick hope on waving ferns.
A million of the sun’s incarnations fell here in hours,
making way for a hundred elsewheres to become somewhere
students and alumni will remember in light bent through shot glasses,
in the smell of cheap beer foam soaked in their pores,
the din of college football cheers roaring from the stadium,
and sweaty hands groping at tits in the dark,
bodies slapping against one another in a mockery of procreation.
These are our children: the house and the student. You and me.
Just inland from the dead ocean cove, diesel reeks heavy in the air.
Aluminum tailings lie in the impoundment, the puss from the wound
Jamaicans put on their land so a captain can commandeer perdition,
shipping Michigan’s copper in the wire we use to call for
Kentucky’s and West Virginia’s coal scraped above the hollers,
spitting disease on my plain-spoken sister nursing her second-born,
the first lost.
What were once playgrounds for boys on their bikes, gardens
thriving like some version of Eden, someplace where Jenny heard
crickets and peepers singing cantatas of forever,
are places where drunk eyes blink again, trying to see.