Jonah in the Time of Climate Change

by Sujash Purna

The year is sometime in the second
decade of some century where they
spell my name wrong. The fear

of a roof caving in, overcast sky
buried in snow. Untimely fools,
they’re leaving me. The whale

is dead and so is my hope in humanity.
These piles of snow keep piling up on
unresolved memories, firm out,

glaciers make faces of clowns, polar
poltergeists. Look at me. We didn’t come this far
just to go under the water, under the sea.

How many plastic bags will satisfy
and swallow before it’s too many?
Is it a heartache or is it nostalgia

for the time when you used to roam?
Recycling makes you look gay you say.
Is extinct a better term how you’d describe

yourself someday? No time for other issues. Why
push each other away and put a wall between,
because you say it’s not so cool to be kind

to care? Look at me. You want to just get
inside the belly of this earth and pretend we
never came here in the first place?

They are going to come out just like I did
out of the monster, out of the floods
your fossil fuels make, immigrate innocent

like baptized babies, in rainbow stains
from floating oil canvas. Hear the night
screaming in silence. Your silence.


Sujash Purna is a graduate student at Missouri State University. He serves as an assistant poetry editor to the Moon City Review. His poetry appeared in South Carolina Review, Naugatuck River Review, Kansas City Voices, English Journal, Stonecoast Review, Red Earth Review, Emrys Journal, Prairie Winds, Gyroscope Review, and others. His chapbook collection Epidemic of Nostalgia is available from Finishing Line Press.

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