by Chris Crittenden

even breath draws deep.
a man at a counter, sipping java,
sucks from the neck
of a distant baobab.

a kind woman walks her poodle,
never seeing the weapons.
spectators in arenas
never witness the massacres.

in Lagos, a girl’s finger
shreds on the dirty edge
of a putrid can.

in Bangladesh,
a pimp pours acid in boys’ eyes
so they must panhandle for him.

400 males control half
of everything in every place.

they control a fluent gazelle,
the oceans, the cordilleras,
the flesh of all soils, the flows
of green and sun.

the last herd of caribou.
the barrow mounds of slain tribes.

the steeples of mansions
in a world cut into lattices.

Chris Crittenden teaches environmental ethics for the University of Maine and writes in a spruce forest, fifty miles from the nearest traffic light. This particular poem was inspired by a good honest look at the sad state of things, and the Occupy Wall Street movement.


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