by Kenan Ince
Here in Texas when we turn on the water
the oil creeps through the hose
into our cars’ waiting tanks.
Our showers are always hot and thick
and our skin glistens all afternoon.
Molly next door drinks a bottle
straight. Our morning coffee
pours slow but powers us for days.
How can you say we’re running
out of fuel when the oil rains
from the skies? It coats our crops
with its thick black milk. Here in Texas
we’ve prayed for rain so long
we dance in the streets
when the black downpour starts.
Our congressmen write bills
to praise Valero and Exxon.
I think we asked for it, these
forty days of rain. We asked for it
for not having a summer
house to pack up for when
the floods come. Or for being born
on the wrong side of the levees.
When they open and the water
beads together in the widening
crack, we think we’ve never seen
anything more beautiful. And we think
maybe this is what we need,
a clean slate. It’s almost refreshing,
like the first wellings
of pride as fireworks explode
over our kids’ heads. “It’s
like a theme park forever,”
we tell them when they ask
about heaven. “Like Hawaii.
Never drops below sixty.”
at the beach all day and watch the Earth below
as an invisible hand distills
away the impure until
all that is left of humanity
is our constituent
carbon. It is all
we will ever give
back to the world. It is all
the generosity we contain.
It’s coming. Quick, choose a hiding place: