Take a deep breath, I say to myself,
then remember the petroleum wind,
the spreading slick, rig workers blasted and sent
to bones and wreckage in the Gulf
now gushing plumes of wealth.
The wellhead swells and looses filth.
Each tide is slick with thick, sweet crude
which etches delicate marshes and blends
benzene with oyster brine. Across
the coast, useless yellow booms float,
fishing nets hang slack with loss.
The earth will not die, though it
might lop off a continent, convert
and re-form us as fossil and dross.
Used with permission of the poet