green curtains, I think,
would liven up the room.
I Google green leafy curtains.
and pastels and vibrant tones,
eruptions of color form in squares
on my screen. infinity. infinity
I am building a nest. I want my home
to resemble a forest. something un-human.
I wonder, though, if there can be any
real escape from us.
green leaves wind around the window panes—they rustle there,
blocking out my neighbor’s motion-sensing light.
after Twitter makes excuses for the national gun fetish,
or the famous pussy-grabber quote circles again,
I look up fluffy bedspreads.
I look up fluffy comforters. I want
to be comforted. the economy
does not comfort me.
my ability to buy things
doesn’t do it.
there’s this inability
to distract myself.
no matter what the thread count,
it leaks in, see.
it leaks in,
a cold draft, chilling.
the headline says the oceans are warming at the rate
of five atomic bombs being dropped in every second.
it took me a second
to Google this:
oceans warming, five atomic bombs.
(I had hoped that it might be per year.)
the company ships me my new bathrobe
in two easy days. 172,800 seconds.
it’s too hot, I say
when the pink fabric comes.
it’s actually too—
it’s too hot.
vines part and eyes glimmer out from shadowed gardens.
the twinkle lights we’ve strung there flicker and go out.
it will not save me. it will not save me.
this cutely-patterned bedsheet. I ask
too much of it. ask it to be a shield.
meanwhile, a gunman opens fire
in my hometown. I text five friends and all say,
which shooting do you mean?
there were two today.
I cannot do anything for creatures in the ocean.
the ones right now, the price that’s paid
for global procrastination. the price exacted for
denial. the almighty twiddling of thumbs.
out the window, something hairy, someone growling with long fangs—
a beast from the last mass extinction scratches at my door.
I slide the glass pane open and offer him an apple. it’s local,
I say. I’m so sorry.
I cannot go and rescue the mother orangutan
who swats at bulldozers
while clinging to a tree. a leafless tree, shorn like Aslan.
the system needs to catch up. needs to catch on.
I donate to a charity
and close the browser tab.
what else can I
my cat has this register
she goes to when she’s hungry.
a higher voice, a chirping trill
she uses to work me.
they say domesticated cats
learned to mimic toddlers
to access human instincts
this small voice cries
in the universe
and stares me
right in the eye. right in the eye.
how wonderful it is, then,
to feed her.