Let Us Refer to the Sea


As I rinse juice cans, yogurt containers and cottage cheese lids in the sink, toss anger into that plastic blue bin, think about garbage mangling the sea and a solid and scolding paper my student wrote about saving the turtles, I wonder what’s next?  After this shelter in place.  After this unraveling. Forest fires, derechos, flooding. We shall not know until we get there.  While water cascades down from Shawnee’s wilderness, I try to make sense.  Nothing makes sense.  This crisis an antenna.  But what’s coming?  How to reconnect? With cycles that sustain us?  And could sustain our descendants? How to channel the magic of inlets, hot springs, volcanoes, fjords, mountains on the edge of collapse? The whole world hungers for a sense of place between the sacred and the precarious. Pure risk this living.  The fatherless child and nothing is safe. A hole in the belly where a song should be.  I take sides with the fields that feed us, in the footsteps of creatures wise and evanescent and infinite.  I long to escape these dead-end streets, perhaps backpacking.  But where is the jumping-off place? This earthquake of sorrow laid us bare and unruly.  Where is the side door? My lungs long to whirlwind a tango, but my body is worn down by revolution. The process is savage.  Disrupts.  Shatters.  Scrapes.  Anarchy is a cage of skin, a thorn-in-the-flesh, a chimera, a contradiction.  How to change our sense of things?  How to put the blood back into our country? Let us overflow not with politics and protest but with emotion and imagination.  Let us refer to the sea.

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