The bear climbed over the mountain,
and what do you think he saw?
History raging and ravaging, carving up
the one and only body of the earth,
the new century already broken into,
ransacked, roads unsafe,
war playing in the background,
infants crawling on the landfill.
The earth was heaven once, and now it's hell.
Since it's already begun to embalm itself,
let's assume that that these are close to
our last words. That's what I meant by urgent.
Oh fuck, I'm going to have to take it
in my arms again. I'm going to have to
love it again, dear corpse of earth,
dear tough-muscled body of the river,
still ignorant of putrefaction,
or the slow downstream parade
of dead beings. I say goodbye
to petals every day. Lilac, wild rose,
poppy disintegrating, one moment
a flower and the next no flower.
Special permission has been granted by the author for Design Observer to reprint this poem online.