Imitation of Chard DeNiord’s “Confession of a Birdwatcher”
The oceans are filled with plastics humans have thrown into them,
which then lodged between the reefs where the colorful shards lie still,
never disappearing as the corals die around them leaving narrow brittle bones.
I have seen through tempered glass the creatures that mistake the plastic for food and poison their bodies,
wondering what to say, how else we can live among them and keep our way.
Not to mention the sight of great silver schools in the Atlantic, especially the young turtles in the surf.
What notice to post on the beaches that says, “Oceanic Creatures: plastic in the seas.
Fatal if eaten, avoid but do not go away.
There are corals not yet dead, waters not too warm.
We need you, which is to say, we apologize for our genius as the creatures above who say that we love
you and need you but passively watch you die,
who poison the seas knowingly, and pretend that it’s fine,
with hearts that are blind your struggles in favor of keeping what they want: the way of us,
the sight of you."
Original artwork by Casey Hudspeth