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Thursday, July 01, 2010


by Miliann Kang                      

Soft corals turned into blackened sponges
pelican beaks dripping slick crude

BP’s CEO grins that the spill is relatively tiny in the very big ocean
propaganda to disperse and contain the hubris of no backup plan

Tea partiers blast Obama while driving SUVs at 12 miles/gallon
the president responds that he can’t just suck it up with a straw

No heads roll, no carbon is taxed, no crisis turns into opportunity
meanwhile we drain the blood of soldiers and citizens in another gulf

My child asks on day 3, day 11, day 39, day 64 what can we do?
we collect coins and send Dawn dishwashing detergent

The planet threatens to deport our whole lot
but we thirst only for more snake oil

60,000 barrels of it a day
an Exxon Valdez every four days

A heart with a burst aorta will gush, shrivel then die,
and so the earth, unless we stop spilling blood and oil

and plug the whole

Miliann Kang is an Associate Professor of Women, Gender, Sexuality Studies at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst.  Her poems have been published in Meridians: Feminism, Race, Transnationalism.  Her book The Managed Hand: Race, Gender and the Body in Beauty Service Work was published in 2010 by the University of California Press.