A new poem by Harriet Salmon.
Cry Me a Bushfire
That morning we opened our curtains to an orange sky. It was
our neighbors, half burning alive.
and dragged on disposable vapes, puff the magic dragoning into a bisected awareness,
eating ourselves full –
bluefin, quail, tasmanian tiger
how awful, sky in a blender,
and then drove up the road to get a better view of the saddleback hills, red
like the sepia haze on kansas
clicked our heels three times, went home
leaving only a quarter tonne of CO2 in our wake
and putting on coats of asbestos
while the parents snub it at a jazz festival,
the reflection of the sky on the water the same blush of their aperol spritzers
So we all sit around to watch cowspiracy and eat mince,
we all sit on our fine asses in garters made of six-pack-rings.
we sit and whine about maccas only stocking oat, almond & soy
when we much prefer coconut and
we menthol aerosol slap it all on from the tube before leaving the house.
You gotta take off the reimagined nightwear and put on the PPE
see the marmalade stratocumulus like a cancerous cough of hades, do your readings and
eat your jerky and
never wash your paints down the sink.
The sky is salmony
this cloud the sour of coral
and this coral a bedsheet of cloud
these oceans the green of pacific forest and this pacific forest swallowed
by cobalt surges up the shoreline, swallowing our neighbors and then landing
right onto our doorstep, like the rat the dog brings home –
it’s already taking us fleshy as we are, irretrievably munted, we’ve ransacked
every grotty heavenly surface, it’s swamped and it’s juiceless
and it’s a thawing armpit of idiots and jet skis and inevitable death so for god’s sake
it’s now or never baby, come hold me freaking tight,
the sky is lighting up
and our neighbours are burning alive.
The Friday Poem is edited by Chris Tse. Submissions are currently closed.