We sit on the driftwood and write our names in charcoal.
You tell me about chemicals
and oil spills and how
you cried at dinner.
I don’t know how to tell you
I cry too.
I want to plug your eyes
and make your hunger stop but
I can’t even feed myself enough, so I stay quiet
and let hypocrisy
slide back down my throat. I hate it when they talk to me too.
We promise each other it won’t get bad
and I want to believe us.
But even something as solid as wood
erodes with salt water, and that’s been true
long before the introduction of pollutants.
You say the damage is far away. It can’t touch us
yet, so we take off our shoes and dip our feet in the water.
We plan to stay submerged until our skin prunes, you tell me
you don’t want to get old.
Hypothermia seeps into our toes slowly
but once the chill ripples through our bones
we get back in the car and turn up the heat.
Promise, again, it won’t get out of control
and turn on the radio.
About the Poet:
Olivia Scarlet Hoffman is a 20 year old Oakland native currently perusing her BFA in Creative Writing at the University of British Columbia. Her writing can be found on her instagram, @oliviapoetics, as well as on GROUNDERS magazine’s online blog.
Poetry Breakfast accepts submissions of poetry and poetry related creative non-fiction year-round. See our Submission Guidelines page for details on submitting your work.