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I Don't Spare You, Because I Care

I know

You'd like to remain



Before you get upset

That I accused you

Of the I-word,

Take a breath.

Because I care,

I'm not going to spare you—

Rising sea levels

In Bangladesh

Are the least of your worries.

No water in Phoenix,

Drought in Iowa.

Tampa slammed

Repeatedly, every year.


Will have to be numerated.

You'll run out of letters

To name them.

Whoever heard of one

With a name that

Started with X?

They're called typhoons

In the Pacific Islands.

And they're worse there too.

No escape,

Even in paradise.

Designer respirators

Are all the rage

In California now.

You'd like to lament

Your burning lungs,

But you can't spare

The breath

I asked you to take



Try breathing again.

Know that you have joined

Much of the rest

Of the world

In our climatic


It was easier to ignore

When the laments

Were in Chinese.

Or Hindi.

Wasn’t it?

Our responsibility

And our inheritance.

Human greed,


Short sighted.

And yet,

The logical conclusion

To a system and

Ideology that

Assumes and demands

Infinite growth.


At the Equator

It will be too hot

To sweat.

Let me say it again:

It will be too hot

To sweat.

Illegal immigration

Won't be caravans of hope

From Central America.

It'll be you, me,

Clamoring to be



God forbid,

Even Russian.

Can you define

Peak oil?

It's code for

Not enough

To bring food

To your city

From places where

It can still grow.

Do you know how to farm?

How to heal with the herbs

Who live amongst you?

If there are any.

I'm sorry it's come to this.

Ripping off

The blinders

Of denial

Is painful work.

But I do this,

Because I care.

It sounds similar,

But it's different

From, “It's for your own good.”

Hate me if you'd like

But remember,

Your indignation's true name is

Shared Culpability.


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