Donna Dallas

Breathers and Breakers

Can we just stop talking about trade tariffs
sex scandals
diseases and typhoons?

the world will repair itself
one plastic water bottle at a time
we are a species (I think)
a clan
that sat under the moon a billion years ago
in mad wonder
now we pack pistols and blades

I saw a woman lying
on the ground
in the subway staircase
she wore a hospital ID bracelet
she had grey sweatpants
with blood caked and muddied at her crotch
I knelt down to touch her
to see if she was alive

I wanted to ask the wretch what happened to her
how did she ever get

she felt my hand
and lifted one glazed eye
she drooled in anger
and mouthed fuck off

I stepped back
and thought
this was once someone’s child
that was carried in a belly
maybe she was loved dearly
or not at all

all the gray whales are dying
their carcasses wash up on the shores
of Oregon and California
scientists huddle together on the beaches
to autopsy their plethoric bodies
to understand
find a way
to save

the human body is an uncanny mystery
I can barely roll out of bed in the morning
half a dead whale inside this skin
a lazy eye
dead mind

this wretch got out of a hospital bed
blood oozing from the sacred place
of her once ripe body
to lay full out on a dirty subway
cement ground
people scurried about
not one person gave a shit

all I want to understand is
where all the recycled garbage goes
and if that
is what’s killing our gray whales
these days

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