A pile of white styrofoam heads

Courtesy of Brian Marco/Unsplash.


When the arena of war shifted to the planet,
when we listened for the scrape of pangolin nails,
the black beat of rhinos, the crex of corncrakes
who would not lay again, I knew the ways
to become a warrior. Taking to social media
I made several different accounts
and watched the likes multiply as cells.
I charged my devices at a public port
though car drivers got angry while waiting.
I slapped Styrofoam cups out of the hands
of strangers. They could thank me later.

But all the while, there was an undertow of sadness
as if the worst had already happened and
we lived in another dimension, a matrix if you will,
the simulations so good we think they’re real.
Is that the creak-clack of a beaver dam, you ask,
how high the note of a blue jay’s song? What whimsy
envelops the wild cow on a moonlit night
to dream into time before? She should not
be there, wild in a docile herd. Yet she hears
the scuttle of information running faster than
the stream, filling up space with its dark matter.
The world used to speak with several different voices.
This one hums. Sourcing/re-sourcing, who knows?

Siobhan Campbell is the author of six poetry collections. Her fourth book, Heat Signature, contains award-winning poems from Listowel Writers’ Week Irish Poem of the Year and Troubadour International Poetry Prize. Campbell’s works have appeared in Poetry, The Southern Review, Magma, New Hibernia Review, and Verse.

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