The Gravity of Ash
I think I am a god.
And it is magnificent.
In the last week alone, three mentions.
The first being Yellowstone flooding.
Runoff swelling, rivers changing course.
More melt possible in the heat waves ahead –
That greedy lap at the diabetic toes of our undoing.
The next, an opening to a poem I read – of the heart’s undoing.
The kind that unlaces our ribs in ecstatic abandon,
Allowing the floppy wet-backed fish below
To slop gamely on the counter gasping for legal access to air.
The third, poker.
A biopic about Texas Dolly & The Doyle Brunson Hand.
With two pair (10s & 2s) he goes all in and, on the river,
Gets a 10 of diamonds to win it all, baby.
It’s not a bluff.
The snowpack on Everest is swallowing
Climbers into crevasses overnight.
Basecamp to shift down 400m in 2023.
Words like torrential and indefinitely.
And case-studies of what happens to
Humans in humid heat beyond the melt point –
Once water in cannot catch up to
You’ve got to hand it to Brunson – 2 years in
A row, the same river.
But when you’re on fire
There will be blame.
This ash doesn’t fall without begging flame.
So when I hear the river & think best of 3? –
From here on out, just undo me.
Wow. Your poems never fail to impress. I’d love to be able to come up with such a rich line as “Allowing the floppy wet-backed fish below / To slop gamely on the counter gasping for legal access to air.” And “…when you’re on fire / there will be blame.” Just gorgeous, Emily.
Thank you so much, Bill! Yeah – I kinda don’t know where the fish line came from… but I’m into it too.
This is outstanding. Flows so well. Great imagery, so many great lines. And on the most important theme of our time.
Thank you! Yes, I agree – about theme. I haven’t written a poem on climate change before because I couldn’t figure out a way into the subject. Glad I finally found an access point.
An amazing read. If only it weren’t so sad and so true.