The sea is so far from us now. Partly I think because we 
are not softspoken desire. There are rude thoroughfares
and abandoned mines that brag. They gather and pile
with ruin and vacancy. It’s an accrual that is in me, it seems. 
At best, a wetland. Beautiful and useless in the face of flood. 
So that when we walk the perimeter, we can see the ground 
starve and crack. But then fear of sinkhole is so self-important.
Truthfully, I am not enough to steer clear of. To fall in love again, 
dear, reforested bund, is a matter of preservation. In your expert 
opinion, will you tell me how to know you if I am forever meant 
to leave you undisturbed. This will not save us, I’m afraid. A brownstone 
for hummingbirds is shortsighted too, like picking out honeybees 
from the dog’s mouth. Then blowing on her tiny hairs like a breeze. 
Love, we can wish it were so; it does not make us fit to survive.

Copyright © 2023 by francine j. harris. Originally published in Poem-a-Day on February 14, 2023, by the Academy of American Poets.