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Ways in Which I Let the Coffee Grow Cold (Summer 2018)                      

  • I smell smoke
  • A mass graveyard of gnats beneath the cracked window
  • The neighbor’s puppy nips with fierce, needled teeth
  • I contemplate modifiers
  • A sticky patch on the kitchen floor—ignored for two days—grows dark and linty
  • $67 in credit on a thrifting app
  • The dream about the death of a neighbor child and my son stuck in his house 
  • I fall asleep in the one comfortable chair when I’m not supposed to
  • The smoke from a distant wildfire
  • Dimmed and dirty orange sunlight
  • (modifiers)
  • My social obligations have become untenable
  • Seriously, the watermelon has been sitting there, uncut, for two weeks
  • Once my mother asked me well what the hell do you do with your time
  • Worry how much it costs to replace windows
  • The smoke is thicker than it should be
  • Every single article about the 45th president of these United States, 30 of them 
  •        burning
  • The West won’t stop burning and much of the landscape suffers from exceptional 
  •        drought, a clear indication of the present and future catastrophic impacts 
  •        of a changing climate
  • My child’s chances in a post-apocalyptic wasteland three decades out
  • His child’s chances of not being eaten
  • The laundry in the hamper will wrinkle if I do not fold it soon

Why Feel Guilty Reading Fantasy

  • Enough with all this re-inventing
  • the world as if the sound of gravel
  • beneath boots isn’t enough, or an orange
  • buoy at low tide, bulk containers of various
  • gummies, a dry twig’s snap in a dark
  • and threatening forest, the space
  • station, plasma, Legoland, salt. Wish
  • for elsewhere or anywhere
  • but here, and history grows thinner
  • and thinner beneath the heave
  • and wrench of our wanting. You get
  • what you get and you don’t throw
  • a fit is what many mothers
  • besides mine have said. Mine will just
  • shoot me a look that writes a bible
  • of curses across my brow. It is the same
  • shade a god throws at the whole
  • first world to shut up our whining. Stop
  • pining for the field of poppies. You’ve got
  • your alfalfa. Now figure out how to grow
  • it sustainably, prevent a catastrophic
  • water shortage, store some carbon,
  • and ditch the guns.

Michele Battiste

Michele Battiste

Michele Battiste is the author of three books of poems, including Waiting for the Wreck to Burn, which won the 2018 Louise Bogan Award from Trio House Press and will be published in early 2019. Michele lives in Colorado, where she raises funds to save the planet. www.michelebattiste.net

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