We had to stop what we were doing
to see what we had done. Thing was,
we wouldn’t. How devoted we were
to despising one another, to erecting
our own private islands made of water
bottles and various other plastic
disposables. “Will you forgive me?”
was a phrase stricken from our language —
theirs, too, “they” ballooning to include
nearly everyone but that arcane term
“us.” Upon discovering that gulls
feasting on our unearthed dead bodies
died of our toxicity, we sobered up
but couldn’t stand to look at ourselves
in what was left of the light. Despite
what so many movies had taught us, “just
in time” was a tick too late. There was
this bird we used to call a whippoorwill.