The water is rising

by A.Conover, USA

The water is rising 
when I wake, 
and at first, I forget. It is 
always this way 
yet I am able to see through the greed 
that slightly grows each day 
while simultaneously seeming smaller. 
The water is rising. I get up on the bed 
still wearing the blood that I wore yesterday, a burden I bear from those who feast 
on the flesh of sentient beings 
as if it doesn’t matter anymore, 
as if the world is too far gone 
for their small sacrifices to matter. 
The water is rising. Up and up 
I climb 
to avoid the mess they made 
and make and will keep making 
no matter how many times 
I plead 
and yell and cry and drown. 
The water is rising. I add 
my share of salt to the pool 
that nobody seems to notice anymore. 
Instead of attempting to add 
less water or get others to add less, 
they are taking swimming lessons. 
The water is rising. The caps are melting 
and the earth is dying and 
all you do is continue the 
same habits 
as if you are above the lives of
everyone and everything. 
Though you ignore it, 
I will still tell you: 
the water is rising.

(inspired by Lyn Hejinian’s “[The water was rising…]”)

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