Jocelyn Macdonald’s poem about the environmental crisis will have you quitting meat, riding your bike, chasing your dreams and spooning the love by your side, all to “slow down the rising of seas, the death of the bees [and] the electric current of spreading disease.”

Jocelyn Macdonald reads “Love in the Time of Climate Change”

Love in the Time of Climate Change

Jocelyn Macdonald

We did everything right. You quit eating meat. I rode my bike.

If anything could slow down the rising of seas, the death of the bees, the electric current of      spreading disease,

it was this way our bodies had of staying in sync, the way your shoulders anticipated my hips,      your throat, my ribs,

and if anything could slow down the worldwide panic about the coming Dark, the eternal stalling      of cars, the innumerable suburbs under retrograde stars,

it was this feeling of stepping out into traffic, of taking a risk, of looking the poverty-and-police      state in the face and saying if I’d known this was what you meant by we all die alone, I would      have rioted sooner.

And knowing we needed to buy some time, to pay the rent, follow our dreams on the side, we      took some space. You organized; you occupied—

I floated down a brown river, polluted and levied, half-starved, half-crazy, John-the-baptist-      the-appleseed, and everywhere I went I planted a thousand trees and preached

the bad news that the present tense is all we have, and the good word that every remaining      moment is ours.

Three-and-a-half degrees later, the Earth goes on, the sun still shines, and someday, long after the      city floods, the dolphin’s descendants will find us entwined,

like those Pompeiian couples sarcophagused in ash, they’ll find us, holding on, spooning,      entombed by our trash.

Jocelyn Macdonald is a Seattle writer, editor and activist. She co-hosts “Feminent Domain,” a feminist news hour on Hollow Earth Radio. Her feminist praxis includes curating women’s poetry readings, organizing protests and training in krav maga. In her spare time she lobbies her congressmen. Her writing has appeared in The Stranger, XOJane, and Hysteria.

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