The Future of Channel Islands Beach, California
One can almost forget the future 
in a Pacific sunset’s wake,
forget how quickly placid waves turn brutal,
that waters are stubborn as facts, immune to prayer.
Whom do I ask to explain the difference between
desire and hunger? I came here to find solace
in whale-song, but the whales are starving;
science gives me reasons but not answers. 
We’ve built a condo empire in the shade of dunes:
What good to bequeath our children a rising sea?
We’ve measured ourselves against the Nasdaq
and Whitman, made a killing off the sale of tides
as a tonic for what ails us, lost sleep over
our poverty and our ignorance.
One can almost forget the future…
Darkness alights slowly here,
flapping its wings with unhurried confidence.
I can make out oil derricks wheezing like lungs
that won’t die, and hear a foghorn blow
like a shipwreck’s parting words:
“Lost souls pray for salvation as they drown
themselves. Or they don’t.
Life will feast on the ruins regardless.
Go home, dear poet.
There’s time yet to hold back the ocean…”
 The Pacific Institute estimates that, given a 4.6-foot rise in sea level, 16,000 people in Ventura County would be vulnerable to the impacts of a 100-year-flood event, a 120% increase over today:
Herberger, Matthew, et al. The Impacts of Sea-Level Rise on the California Coast. California Climate Change Center, May 2009, https://pacinst.org/wp-content/uploads/2009/03/sea-level-rise.pdf., p. 42
 Ferreira, Gabby. Gray Whales Are Dying along the West Coast, and Scientists Are Trying to Figure out Why. San Luis Obispo Tribune, 25 Apr. 2019, https://www.sanluisobispo.com/news/california/article229646274.html.