Emergency / we could never stop

Emergency / we could never stop | Zocalo Public Square • Arizona State University • Smithsonian

Courtesy of Jonathan Becker/flickr.

“And yet many scientists still describe geoengineering as an inevitability—it’s just so cheap, they say … polluting the air on purpose to keep the planet cooler … and once we begin, we could never stop.”

David Wallace-Wells, The Uninhabitable Earth

when sun falls a jellyfish this red
of aerosols the sea swims in my throat
stings of the jellyfish but not the fish
less sun less heat I’m safe except what keeps
me safe stings in the throat erects inside
the lungs protector my destroyer
from the air a killing one but safe
I’m safe the sun a jellyfish this burn
I do not come too close I breathe who’s safe
until the safety keeps me from the breath
the throat falls red I sting the air my sun
what I have done what I who am this type
of thing this red erects the aerosols
to sun have done am done stings my safe air

K.A. Hays is the author of three books of poetry and teaches at Bucknell University in Lewisburg, PA.
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