If Nothing Else This Poem
for Heather Heyer
Has in it no cretinous Nazis, no lead slurry
thickening the water with death, so
that is these days a plus. In this line,
no ancient and fragile biome has been
hounded into collapse. I think.
This is a poem, so don’t come here
searching for journalism. I will
record the end of everything I can see.
This sort of tolerable meal. The rain
that has pestered the earth all day long.
The distant lament of a siren.
Yes, something somewhere is
burning down. You will lose
everything. Some day. This is not news.
My hands ache like there
is no blood in them. Just cement.
Bad faith. The state of Ohio,
which I have sped through,
in the darkness breaking law after law.
This weekend a woman died
when a coward ran her down
in the street like nothing bad was ahead.
Would happen in that light.
I think of that morning:
how it began like any other.
I think I will sleep well
tonight: I’m tired. My eyes are worn out.
In my heart, inside it,
I am capable of every betrayal.
I am sorry the world is not better
than it is. I apologize
for this poem. These words
are not a prayer. Are not even an excuse.
“If Nothing Else This Poem” is from Because Everything is Terrible (Diode Editions, 2018).