May 28, 2005

Write Off by Ken Belford

Half is gone along the river,
in the channels, in the flows.
The threat of extinction bores people now.
So does the disappearance of clean, cold water.
It’s a write off so we tell stories
to ourselves, to cover up.
If you will live then I will live.
You swim upstream with money in your jaws.
But salmon are not for eating and
the belly fat of white men is expensive.
Before they saw it, before they heard of it,
the people of the selfish gene imagined the Columbia.
They die so quick and then they live again,
the buffalo pulsing on the cobbles.
I fell in love in another generation,
then fell in love again.

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