Blue Carbon Sink

It’s one thing for little boys
to roll down a slope
into a sunken sculpture garden.

It’s quite another
for drunken college seniors
to somersault their way

down a campus-defining hill—
barreling through the glee and terror
of the final night before

being handed diplomas and brass
keys to open unknown doors.
In bold acts of unsustainable

immortality, we borrow ones
made of animal bone to break
the promises we made to ourselves

well into the witching hour.
Swipe steel ones to pry open another defense of our dishonor.

Now they jangle, rattle, and crack
in pockets to worn-out jeans,
pounding out a relentless beat

accompanied by old subway tokens,
a tiny folded piece of paper
(the message faded and illegible

from so many rereadings
and wash cycles),
and bolts to anything

that fell apart ages ago.

Locks of gray hair,
floors no longer sticky,
a sluice gate,

a clear head
at dawn, and other slurs
accumulate. Eventually, standing

on the highest bluff, we believe
in the power of a finely-tuned spyglass
to rotate the view—never forgetting

the ones who followed the sea

stars and rockfish
into the reef and got lost
among the glass sponges forever.

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