We May Have Just A Year To Prepare For A Supervolcanic Eruption

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KRISTIN ROBERTSON

 
 

                        —with a title from I Fucking Love Science

 

 

List the living things to hold on your lap:

Eye of a blue whale the size of a softball.

Head of the camp leader in the tent who said

your eyes. As many plums as you can

and all at once. The once-blooming cereus

flower. Serious wake of common loons’ wings,

cold like endless cat’s eye marbles in both fists.

 

Not the ocean up to your neck, the ocean

with blue whale hearts the size of cars.

At least not first. Board a plane to his fingers,

your wrists and all at once. Fly to the panic

of never having done any of it in firelight.

After the wildfires, the camp leader said,

The only trees now so far off. Take him to

 

the Joshuas who can’t even believe the size

of the sunset. Not the shoreline for whimbrels,

always the earliest leavers. Retrace the life

of your mouth: Berries hot from the tailgate

of a Datsun. Busted lip, berries and metal.

The monkfish from Le Krill, where outside

a street artist painted her baleine bleue.

 

Blue whales nudge their one and only calf

to the surface to breathe. In the tent, the salt

and smoke of the camp leader’s tongue

the summer before he almost died. Lightning,

and all at once. You have just this one year.

The first wilderness you ate? Honeysuckle,

a drop shiny as the stud in an earring gun.