Two Skyrim Poems
maybe the world should end, you think, maybe
the politicians seated around a table, you at the head,
are jaws flapping but never closing, wings and
wind, the mouth of the world full of miasma,
the smallness of bloodshed, new snow on a
battlefield, blanketing fallen trees, soldiers,
bones of something ancient tumbling like dice.
but here I am wasting words as well. here
i am fighting you. the difference between debate
and combat is all shouting in times of truce.
let your voice reach through, break my lines,
and shudder. i can swallow enough of what you
say. things like massacre. like concordant. we both
have the same capacity to devour, but i see all
the dead around us. they have become unskippable—
encoded and shrapnel. we are closer to time now
because we know the sound the clock makes as it falls:
it’s a whistle. like the first breath of winter. still,
you are fortunate. you can get up and walk away.
it’s not, after all, your dragon rising like a mushroom cloud,
like a smoke stack screaming steel and powerplants, their
unrelenting force back into the sky. it’s not your world
that ends with the snowmelt but mine.
Nothing but Ruin
where is your blubber? it is colder here than you
in this nuclear winter untouched by sun, this liminal
territory peopled by animals, inhabited by blondes
and blue-eyes. you don’t see the history of predation:
shorn tusks, how the snow flowers pink as it melts,
the bones of the hand flattened into apocrypha,
can you blame us for huddling for warmth? can you
ignore our succuluent flesh? a blood moon rises
but someday the blizzard may turn to ash. even this
has not been enough of a warning. we were not made
for this world of yours, we melt and drip, calving
and ablated from the environment. god rays punch holes
in permafrost and loot the ruins. what am i trying to say
without the power of speech? i roar from my dwindling
herd and i see you hesitate, my meat between your
teeth. did you really need to make a weapon just for
killing us? i could run to shore. the seas are warmer
every year and the shrinking floe could strand us
both. is it not enough that the water freezes you?
where is your blubber? mine is dissolving and useless.