"In AP Environmental Science, my best friend speaks about sky & age & forests." (a poem for you)

Good morning, loves! I am in Jogja now, on a rather impulsive trip full to the brim with good coffee, brick walls, mellow afternoons, art museums, bubble baths. I am thinking about projects for 2019 & spending much time by the pool & celebrating Half Mystic Journal’s Issue VI release & eating lots of room service. It’s a good thing, floral & myth-stained. I think I needed this moment away, a breath of tenderness all to myself.

So pleased to be sharing a new poem with you today, one written quite a while ago now (my junior year of high school—AP environmental science seems like a foggy dreamscape now!) but only having found a home recently. “Species Interactions” was a birthday gift for my darling Tanvi Dutta Gupta, a longtime friend who documents her adventures up trees & at sea in stunning words & photographs on her blog. It was originally highly commended by the Ginkgo Prize For Ecopoetry; you can read the full anthology right here, featuring so many stunning pieces by fellow wonderers of the universe.

I do hope you enjoy this piece, my friends. Here’s to birdsong & skystuff & all the things that lie in-between. xx

Species Interactions
for Tanvi

In AP Environmental Science, my best friend speaks
about sky & age & forests. Shows me a photograph on
her computer of a bird she chased for an hour before
finally getting close enough to touch or shoot or love.
Look, the photo’s too blurry, she tells me, points out the fuzz
around the edges of the bird’s wings. I think it’s beautiful,
I say, & she tells me to shut up, & this is our love language,
this is our ecosystem dreaming into being. Today we’re
learning about solid waste & it’s so easy to lose myself in
hopeless, hearing about trash compactors & landfill seepage
& all these methods of coming closer to the end, but the
teacher passes around a wallet made of Capri-Sun wrappers,
tells us how green taxes are becoming more effective & that
our school just installed new solar panels on the roof, &
everything feels a little quieter. We watch a documentary
about air pollution. My friend fusses over her photograph
& I want to say shh, I want to say it’s perfect, but instead I
crumple up the empty soda can on my desk, throw it into
the recycling bin & not the trash. Outside the window
it’s monsoon season. The sky relearns the language of
eutrophication. The rain sings over everything, divides us
into individual parts. The birds sleep like saints, soundless
& infinite, like they trust the storm will pass soon,
like they don’t realise how it has only just begun.