Anthropocene

Nomi Stone

Nesting, the turtle seems to be crying even though she is simply secreting
her salt. Her dozens bud limbs inside amniotic pillows

as she leaves every egg in a cup of sand the size of her body,
shaped like a tilting teardrop — and both cryings

are mentioned by scientists. My niece Eve is startle-eyed when you feed her
avocado and when you feed her sweet potato. She lives mouth first:

she would eat  the sidewalk and piano, the symmetrical petals of the Bradford pear,
as if she could learn which parts of the world are made and how,

and yesterday she put her mouth on the image of her own face
in the mirror. Larkin says what will survive of us is love,

but the scientists say that the end of the decay-chain is lead and uranium and after that,
plastics. Just now the zooplankton are swallowing micro pearls of plastic

and the sea is  aflame with waste caught in the moon’s light.
Here is the darkening hour and here, the shore, as she droplets her eggs,

bright as ping pong balls, into the sand.  She can’t find the spot.
The beach is saltined with lights, neoned with spectacular

globes of light, a dozen moons instead of the one moon. Still, she lets them go
and one month later, tiny turtles hatch. They seem groggy,

carrying their houses of bone and cartilage to the ocean,
scrambling toward the horizon alongside the earth’s magnetic field.

Less than one percent of the hatchlings make it past
the seagulls and crabs, so Noah spent a summer dashing them to the water.

But my poem is not about the moment when a bird dove and bore
into the underflesh and into Noah’s memory.

My poem is about how we are gathered around Eve
in the kitchen as she eats a fruit she has never tried before

and each newness in the world
stops the world’s ending in its tracks.

More by Nomi Stone

War Catalogues

Soldiers collect & number:
pigment, hair, jade,
roasted meat, timber,
cum. The enemy’s
flute; the face

of an enemy
as he holds his young;
the enemy’s face the moment
it’s harmed. The woods

are a class in what
they can take. The country
is fat. We eat
from its side.

Waiting for Happiness

Dog knows when friend will come home
because each hour friend’s smell pales,
air paring down the good smell
with its little diamond. It means I miss you
O I miss you, how hard it is to wait
for my happiness, and how good when
it arrives. Here we are in our bodies,
ripe as avocados, softer, brightening
with latencies like a hot, blue core
of electricity: our ankles knotted to our
calves by a thread, womb sparking
with watermelon seeds we swallowed
as children, the heart again badly hurt, trying
and failing. But it is almost five says
the dog. It is almost five.

Wonder Days

What I meant is that when the child shook the branch,
the beetles, quiet, somnolent, darkly, fell and again fell
like plums. Once woken, they bzzzed towards
the street lamps, loving each light well, thwacking
against them until they landed face down or face
up, trying to find their feet, reminding me of Eve’s face
as a baby when she tried to lift her head on her stem
of a neck before yet she could. Upon the child’s shoulders,
beetles landed, kinging him. The dusk’s gray mute
unfolded its scrolls, while his mother made toast
with boysenberry jam, his father played solitaire,
and think of his sister doing her biology homework.
But they are under the tree, he is, the bright ones falling
upon him like stars, and as they fall, he names them:
some doctors, some cooks, depending on the size
of their antennae. His face was a diary of leaves: dark,
lit, risen with laughter, then suddenly at rest. This
was one way to be inside the world rather than outside
looking into a bright window.