Graveyard Shift

 After Pete Seeger’s “Where Have All the Flowers Gone?”


My father’s mind

Propels through the cosmos

He asks my mother

To, please, recite the meaning of gravity


He screams and shouts under the planets

His cerebrum aches from dreams of riverbed killings

The water absorbed in flashes of

Rich, rich emerald


Whilst rage on oily wars

And voices croak of the fish that are

Long, long gone

Where have all the blue fin gone?


His lungs scramble to swallow oxygen before

We are engulfed in carbon dioxide nightmares

Before popsicles burn to studio spills across the atmosphere

And ice cream sizzles bombs over bumblebee homes


His legs wail across his midnight cocoon

Announcing every misreading

Every medicine label misspelled

Or widow whose breath ran out feeding the fire of a prolonged July

Carbon dioxide trials

Where have all the deep breaths gone?

Long, long gone


This marathon

This boot camp existence

We will either transform

Or return


Where have all the deep breaths gone?




Photograph by Ryan Walsh


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