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- The Sun Holds Its Breath
- Day after shrinking day the angel of death
- Hovers kite-like, the dark around its eyes
- Waxing larger than the new moon, nearing,
- A black hole with wings. Soon
- It will rip off my head, blind vole that I am.
- I deserve no better. I do not rage, rage
- Against the dying of the light. I raise my arms
- I welcome its talons like a lover
- I am the male black widow spider
- My little death is duplicated large.
- Why should I live when so much else is dying?
- Each day heralds new harvests of cadavers
- Starve now, you, while crops rot in fields,
- Drink poison, you, while water goes fracking
- Freeze in tents, you, while condos stand vacant
- Let your children be torn from your arms, you
- Race where you can to flee our bombs, you
- Choose, you, either food or medications
- Sweat and run, you, to make assholes richer,
- Hide if you can, you, from thugs in suits
- Salute, you, this pigsty called government
- Look away, look away from the death of the earth.
- Why then does the sun hold its breath?
- It ought to turn away in shame and revulsion,
- It ought to erupt and go nuclear
- Vomit coronal mass ejections
- Obliterate this planet gone so wrong
- Be done with it. Basta così. And yet
- It stands still. Sol static. It hesitates.
- Spoiler alert. We know what comes next.
- The Mayans knew it. The Egyptians, Chinese,
- Civilizations north and south, now dark to us,
- In times when stars hung closer than grapes
- Sharp eyes notched stones and built calendars
- And they knew, they knew that the light returns.
- Yes, solstice means the comeback of the light
- A second chance for the undeserving truant
- Forgiveness for the shit-smeared molester
- Welcome back for the prodigal thief, arsonist, and murderer.
- With a grace that far surpasses all divinities,
- The sun comes back.
- Is there greater cause for celebration? Is there bug
- Or leaf or bird or stone or baby or drop of water
- That does not owe its being to the sun? Is there king
- Or president or boss or capo greater than the sun?
- Is there drug or drink or food or medicine,
- Is there gas or oil or any of the elements,
- On which we lay our hands without the sun?
- Our puny celebrations, our candles, our LEDs,
- Our sparklers and pyrotechnics are faint flattery.
- We make up fairy tales of kings and babies,
- Of forts and oil lamps, we do Saturnalia,
- Makara Sankranti, Yalda, Dongzhi, Yuzuyu,
- Ayan Parivartan, Alban Arthan, Brumalia, Korochun,
- Sanghamitta, Shalako, Christmas, and Ziemassvetki.
- So many pretty ornaments, so many lies,
- Told to divert our gaze from the unseeable
- Burning blinding disk of the sun. Yet the sun
- And its return is the only truth in all these fables.
- After Solstice, the sun unfreezes, it makes up its mind,
- It laces its boots and begins a new pathway.
- Little by little, the daylight lingers, the dusk retreats.
- A rosy light spreads over this charred dystopia
- Rekindles hope in tired hearts,
- Inch by inch, we see the furrows that await us
- and the plowing to be done.
- — Martin Nicolaus
- December 20 2019
- Mixed Feathers
- Owl, Hunted