9. 29. 2022


stevie redwood

“[The] US military is a bigger polluter than as many as 140 countries…

[&] remains the single largest institutional consumer of hydrocarbons in the world.”
theconversation.com, 2019

On a hazy Monday morning, the sky sheds a nearby city cinder by cinder.
In this soot mote, the bark of a brittle tree that passed the wildfire
to another; in that particle, vestige of a child’s plastic
fire truck. Inside, I seal the windows to keep the smoke
out of my mouth, already hot with other ashes. The kitchen stifles,
ruptured with heat. Under a glass vase on the table, the newspaper
lists pandemic deaths like today’s stocks, laments another unnamed
teenage boy inside a classroom with a gun. Weighting the pages,
a single sunflower withering blade by mustard blade
                                                                                                becomes a rumor.

The elementary school next door shakes off the wind-pilled sheet
of a brief, cruel summer: heat-ripe with children, ringing
like a drill. It’s recess time, & no one’s on the playground
but the thick spectres of carbon monoxide & seismic wrath. The wraiths
of futures past. The kids yell from cooped inside,
with & without masks on, trading cards; snacks;
dangerous air. One hazard for another. Lung damage
for lung damage. A recess roulette. Sweaty with bottled desperation;
thirsty & throttled with all they’re now forced to escape
                                                                                                     & imagine—

In a short half-century, those among them still alive
in their fifties will have moved higher & higher up along
with the sea level; watched the ocean’s magnificent swell
fold shore upon shore forever into its mouth.

Or it’s like this: in a quarter century, when they’re in their thirties,
they’ll remember the indulgence of the bittersweet marriage
of coffee & chocolate, from back before drought
drove the prices of both beyond the ceiling;
drove fields of both dead into the ground;
buried whole towns of farmers of both

Or it’s like this: in ten years, when they’re teens,
they’ll have seen monarch butterflies migrate en masse
into history books, next to red-legged frogs, gray whales,
blue herons, redwood forests, axolotls, 49% of all insect species,
San Francisco, Guangzhou, Mumbai, Santo Domingo,
Kiribati, Tonga, New Orleans, Micronesia, Bangladesh,
& half the human population.

Or it’s like this: in ten days from now, when they’re
ten days older, they will be ten days closer
to the end of their lives, which will be decades shorter
than the lives they’d dreamed of, & we’ll be ten days
deeper into denial, & the earth will be ten days nearer
to being one degree too hot to inhabit.

It’s like this:
in ten shallow breaths from now,
in ten
from now
this second
we could all be
deciding to build
a global movement
of workers against war
& militarism; of militant anti-
anti-violent solidarity against mass
production & shipment of hydrocarbon-
fueled weapons; of Raytheon antagonizers &
Exxon saboteurs & people who do their childcare
& others who cook their food & squatters who make up
extra beds & fighters who teach group shield tactics & healers
who share their medicines & medics who facilitate skillshares &
people willing to struggle & compromise & die & live for each other
& elementary school children who remind us how & why to dream & yell
& make & scheme & laugh against the war; to sing & fight & cry & make up &
dance & question & tell the truth & play for all our lives; to love like it’s what will save us—

stevie redwood is a disabled sino-jewish neuroinsurgent aquarius homotrash bitch from frisco. they like shittalk, porchsitting, leaflitter, & riffraff. find them trolling yimbys on twitter @trash_whisperer