Overpriced Boutique

Andrew Hemmert

How do I love the world? Distractedly,

like fallen leaves love the asphalt until

a good wind comes through and turns them tumbling

towards anything else. I spent the morning

mourning the murder of an activist

who protected butterflies from loggers.

Early wilderness advocates were caught

in the opposing bear traps of needing

to pacify the forest for the city,

and needing also to acknowledge

they were, each day, unbuilding a cathedral

with their saws. There is in development,

I suspect, a pill for that feeling.

And the weight of the last glacier’s absence,

and the next mass shooting, a little closer

to wherever you take your body most

for granted. If my body is a temple,

it’s been repurposed for that task. It was once

a bowling alley in a strip mall,

once a chain diner, once a boutique

overpriced and full of silver dresses

from distant sweatshops, cheap leather shoes.

I try to love the world remembering

each leather shoe was once an animal

opening its sovereign eyes on a field

of clover and crickets, for the first time.

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