Death Fields

Pramila Venkateswaran

Poison me, and you poison yourself,
spews Gaia, her rage billowing black
as scientists pour grease cutters
in the ocean to clean the oil spill.

She stamps her form out of myth
rips the illusion of serenity
duping gulls and sea lovers:
Hell behind a gorgeous sunset.

Oil-stained pelicans paint
the sky vermillion, then land
among dying tall grass shooting
out of sluggish marsh soup.

How to soap them down?
How many can you wash?
How many will dare dip their wings
into slick waves?

The brown pelicans, some washed ashore
dyed in crude oil, wait to die, or
get a good scrub and face hunger
from our loving hands.

(Published in Axis of Logic)