of limited power, fire devours
trees, houses, people, spits the ash
on windscreens, disrupting sightlines
far away from workers who commute
every day that ships spill sound into
currents, mapping for oil, killing whales,
beached, become geographies of flesh.
Birds peck at skin slopes with plastic forks
lodged in turtles’ throats, made so, so sore
by fumes exuded by a tanker that overturned
all the laws to safeguard land, water,
tree houses in wide, manicured yards,
inches from children hiding and seeking
their mother to ask, “Mammy, wha’ smell so?”
K. Herman was born in Tobago. A. K. writes fiction and poetry and was shortlisted for the 2009 Commonwealth Short Story Prize. A. K.’s writing has appeared in Doek! Literary Journal, Small Axe Journal, Aster(ix) Journal, Lolwe, Isele Magazine, and others. A. K. lives in New York and is working on a novel.