by Sina Queyras
[ poetry - september 03 ]
"Nature is dead," the business major says, "there's no point
trying to connect with it." He tugs on the strap of his sixteen
pocket, triple side-construction with built in water-bottle and cell
phone slots. "I mean what's the point now?" The microfibres
of his plum, polar-tec jacket rubbing against canvas fills
the bare office with a cricketing song. A curled maple leaf
see-saws through the open window between us, lands
on my hush-puppied toe. "Why not take the money and run?"
His dark eyes narrow and moisten: "Shouldn't we be realistic?
Why try to resuscitate the past when we can re-create it, cleaner,
more efficiently, providing new opportunities for growth?"
He shifts his weight, laughs, "I mean, I saw the Green platform:
what good is raising the minimum wage?" He bobs nervously,
unsure of what he wants, of why he is here, his featherless
heart a newly discovered reptilian bird. Despite himself
he leans in, urgently, fingers fluttering the edge of the wooden
desk, cuff of his jeans, plastic arm of the chair, his enormous,
intelligent head worrying the small kernel of doubt into his ribcage
as he searches for affirmation, diagnosis in the autumn air,
as if deep inside him he knows he has only moments
before the body absorbs that kernel of doubt, begins layering it,
hardening, and benign or not, it begins to grow.