Blackbirdan online journal of literature and the artsFall 2016  Vol. 15 No. 2
an online journal of literature and the arts
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Environmental Impact Statement

Not even light escapes a frozen star,
our first name, and flawed, for what tonight
we might open beneath the mountains,
crash-testing fragments of the instant after
creation to glimpse a grammar,
a language I won’t understand.
Blind, Milton had his daughters read to him
in languages they didn’t speak,
gave them the lines he’d night-gardened
all morning, the imagined mechanics
of Lucifer’s crow-dive into the dead’s river.
After taking dictation, his daughters
left the house to sell, volume
by volume, his library for groceries, scents.
What happens when my imagination
opens up inside someone else’s body—
the city’s morning light an environmental
impact statement for when she doesn’t
come home last night. I make coffee
and don’t look at my phone.
Walk the Ramble through the affairs
of starlings someone unleashed in the garden,
the new world. Ridiculous
to say we should have known better.
Each bird’s a painting of some dark thing.
Even if we tear a black hole in the mountains
it’d die pretty quick, probably.
And Eden is just an old man’s imagination
surrounded by bored daughters
with tastes for the fine things of this world.  

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