Hopefully We Can

12:00 AM.

Another new year, another new 0.13 inches.

The ocean

Is growing

Too

Fast.


I switched off the lights and got into bed.

My body was restless, sinking into the mattress,

But maybe I was just drowning because

This was our foreseeable future, our nightmare in disguise.

As I dreamed about the wildfires at night and the drowning and the tornadoes

And the maybe we can and the hopefully we will

Mother Earth was preparing for the future, holding her breath dearly

To stop choking on the smoke since

The carbon is suffocating her, soon to suffocate us,

And her tears are the melting polar ice caps.


When I woke that morning, my skin felt hot,

Sticky, humid.

I refused to turn on the air conditioning that morning.

Handfuls of ice were on my cheek, arms, thighs,

Attempting to cool myself down in a way that wouldn’t

Harm me or you or her or him.


Mother Earth looked at me, pitiful. For who?

Who knows.

She gave me a small smile.

I couldn’t smile back.

- Hannah Chen