Jeff Bezos did not leave the planet any better than
he found it, though he is rich enough to leave it and
return, alive. As I watch the skies, greedy mosquitos
stalk me like a herd of tiny buffalo. Swatting them
away, I order cortisone cream on Amazon.
Triumphant, Jeff thanks his employees and customers—
“You paid for this,” he says. You’re welcome, Mr. Bezos.
He does not reply, but the mosquitoes are feeling
generous: they tip me for the speed with which
I feed them. I should go in now; there’s an Air Quality
Advisory, smoke from fires across the country. Fire
stalks me. There is not enough water in the seas to douse
the fear of flames or soothe my skin. I scratch until
I bleed. Isn’t death for other people? Seneca wrote,
Things that were hard to bear are sweet to remember.
Perhaps the Internet erased the need for memory:
I remember nothing. There is little sweetness now.
Let’s observe a moment of silence for the climate
we’ve driven to the brink, like the 30 million buffalo
we culled to a few thousand. But so long as there is
sperm, and eggs, and energy to procreate,
all is not lost; we’ve yet to agree upon a Kármán line
to mark the boundary between hope and despair.
I have so many plans. I could sit on the bloody grass
all night, scheming beneath a hazy moon—
If only the mosquitos would leave me to think.