Hiking in the Anthropocene

I asked myself about the present: how wide it was,
how deep it was, how much was mine to keep.

-Kurt Vonnegut

I read the forest’s memoirs leaf by leaf,
trace each tree’s veins branch by branch,

my skin parched for its poetry. I want
nothing but to reside here in the quiet,

the dappled light of a hidden cove,
the sweet, secret sound of solitude

on the side of a mountain. Far above
the fray, the floodwaters, the rushing

cold calamity in the callous void of
conservation, the total lack of self-

preservation or empathy for earth.
Swaddlings losing our wrappings, we

swirl in eddies spawned by our chaotic,
collective flailing. The flood’s fingerprint

etched in judgement, in memoriam, on
the mountain’s moss-cloaked cheek.

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