We Make & Break
I want to say one word to you…Plastics.
Derived from oil. As in polyester, as in fleece clothing recycled from water bottles.
As in bags and wraps that slip like condoms over carrots and carpets. Sent to China
and burned. Disintegrating, microscopic fibers ride thermals like smoke found high
in the Pyrenees, but fly invisibly like no-see-ums that bit us as we crushed acorns
and called “not it” on summer nights. Then, tiny constellations of poison puffed and
swelled our skin. Now planets of plastic swirl in ocean eddies. They balloon our lungs,
and the stomachs of whales. 88 pounds found recently inside a dead one
in the Philippines. Like our Lucite necklaces pounded into circles, sea turtles swim
festooned by 6-pack rings—beer, soda and big-box carry-alls. Choked by new age nooses.
What to do with cannulas and catheters, water and sewer pipes, sluicing vitals
to and fro? We have 3-D hearts and 3-D guns; only one has online instructions.
And we plasticize ourselves, inject lips and breasts, cut and carve our flesh,
skin ourselves until we are smooth as celluloid. Unable to crack a grin or wink
at them, will our babies grow wary of joy? If we’ve chosen never to furrow or frown,
will we implode, become our own incendiary devices? Like plastics we will break
down. In the end, let me layer between leaves, rot, and return to carbon, to the trees.