Refusal

Everywhere we look, we can hardly bear
to look. Forests are on fire and children

search in vain for a hospitable place that isn’t
a border. We press our fingers against our temples,

but the vision of a chainsaw whirling above the sea
won’t go away. This is real now, not just another

nightmare. Perhaps if we’re lucky there might still be
mountains around which our bones could come to rest

like garlands. But we’ve come through war after war: minus
an eye, an arm, a leg. We’ve run through plains, ahead

of burning clouds mushrooming behind our naked backs.
Tsunamis swallowed our homes and green rubber rain

boots, but we gather the splintered to make new mats.
Overhead, in their dark suits and white neck ruffs,

old vultures circle— impatient to feast on us
though we are not yet dead, we are not yet dead.

Leave a Reply