• Vol. 09
  • Chapter 09

Twenty Years After the Supreme Court Squelches Environmental Regulation

Awash in oil, sewage, and coal dust, the city
of onyx skyscrapers drowns. Plastic and corpses
bob in hot water while locked in dim, airless condos,
we all watch. The Supreme Court flies to Duluth.

At a zoo near Portland, Maine, the ox bears this heat
as she bears all things. Staff lumber through solid air,
past tropical trees, to feed and water her. No one else
visits her anymore. Her web cam flickers out.

No one visits the zoo. Refugees flee the city
of onyx skyscrapers. Others arrive, escaping
worse things: worse heat, drought, war, starvation.
Prince George marries Blue Ivy tomorrow.

Far to the south, mountains emerge from
ancient ice, the one cool thing in the world.
The last snow clings to them. The retired Justice
streams a video that no one will look at.

Even here the polluted waters rise.