In the warp and woof of climate,
our faces become planets
aloft in a riot of stars.
We’ve shed our carbon-based lives
to adopt alternate spectrums
along lines of force our species
couldn’t explore in time to save
the seasons from clumsy embrace.
The government declares an era,
a lifetime of mourning to blame
for bathtubs overflowing
with suicides who neither regret
nor apologize for their loss.
We also refuse to comment;
but from unworldly height we note
how fragile certain dimensions look
when caught in the atomic gleam
of the one universal eye.
Signatures of long-dead heroes
scratch along the slick of rivers
and meld into each other with sighs
of literary but honest feeling.
We could have written thick books
collecting their narratives and mottoes,
but preferred to salt ourselves among
obituaries shaped to flatter
unrequited lyric notions.
You understand, don’t you?
The coal-fire of your temper
blackens my remaining lens;
but I still can easily trace
the orbits we’ll have to assume
if we’re to have the last word
before the overflow wins.
William Doreski has published three critical studies and several collections of poetry. His work has appeared in many print and online journals. He has taught at Emerson, Goddard, Boston University, and Keene State College. His most recent book is Train to Providence, a collaboration with photographer Rodger Kingston.