Abcessed, the Arctic ice puddles
to black. Its albedo zeroes.
Bufo periglenes: golden bodies enamel-
bright, last seen May 15, 1989.
The Comma invades & closes
its wings as if to camouflage
flickering duet of flame. It plays
dead, old leaf ready to drop.
Even the dogs were wearing masks,
she says, enveloped in an early
season of forest-fed smoke. Fairbanks
ringed in a fog of record fires.
Gone: red-bellied gracile opossum,
bluebuck, the Colombian grebe.
How worried should we be?
How lucky do you feel?
Inupiat for ice: sikuliaq, young ice; sarri,
pack ice; tuvaq, land-locked ice.
Is there a word for this jigsawed
melt? Jolt of jackhammer to floe.
Newton’s parakeet, desert rat-kangaroo,
Hawkins’ rail, olive ibis—
lost as Louisiana’s wetlands:
a football field’s length every 38
minutes. Methane rising
out of the Strodalen mire;
no one knows how much carbon
nests there, suspended,
only waiting for the match. Or how
to put it out.
Projection: canary in the coal mine comes
to mind. Planetary demise.
Queen of Sheba’s gazelle, great
auk, New Zealand quail, the dodo.
Research shows 16% of elected Republicans
are unaware ‘climate change’
is synonymous with ‘global warming,’
says Public Opinion Quarterly’s poll.
The permafrost’s sickle, bearing down.
The threshold. The heat of darkness.
IUCN Red List: white ferula mushroom,
European ground squirrel, silver
thistle. This is vespers. This is the bell.
This is the only vessel.
What is one more bottle of water,
what could one more matter?
Extinct: turquoise-throated puffleg, ecstasy,
the exact blue scent of snow
you knew in your childhood. All
you have is yearning, is vacant,
is ascension’s night heron.
Its zenith, zero hour. Its abacus.