What I Mean when I Say I am Sad

What I Mean when I Say I am Sad

What I Mean when I Say I am Sad 688 1470 Jason Harris

after Elizabeth Kolbert’s book: The Sixth Extinction

My heart is a boomtown. A lagoon.
A stuffed pigeon sitting on the white
picket fence of a country in denial.

My heart is a boomtown. A lagoon.
A honeycrisp apple sliced in fours
amongst a group of seven billion

people everywhere & nowhere all
at once coughing sneezing laughing
breaking into a sweat in a torrid

heatwave. It happens. Quickly
the eyelid closes & the proof
of one’s existence– like that –

is gone. Like in the time it takes
to realize that this is a poem
about grapolites, ammonites, trilobites,

black-faced honeycreepers, a tagged
& lonely crow in love with a pink
spoonbill. What are we to make

of the confusion we find
ourselves in? What I mean when I say
I am sad today is that my heart

is a boomtown. A lagoon –
at the bottom of which two lovers
shook-&-jive, play the dozens.

Between them a silence more silent
than the feather-fall of a stuffed pigeon
perched on a picket fence. Surrounded

by a dying & confused people.
By tree-swallows circumnavigating
the sky like hang-gliders.

Header photograph © Martins Deep.

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