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We Come Elemental

We step into humid light.
It sticks to our skin
and microbes gorge
in greywater runoff pools.

The chlorophyll chorus sings
our collected chemical stew—
nitrogen! nitrogen! nitrogen!

           Each molecule polished
           each o each pair of h a banquet of lust—

                       wet sludge::
                       stream suds::
                       oil slick rain::

                       ::eat the bread of our body's slough
                       ::eat our bread the crumbed down drain
                       ::eat of our bread our rainbowed fuel

           until clear pools
           flow back to the rivers
           —those quick veins of industry—

wash over ancient mollusk shells

and we learn again
green's good
was light veined
through leaves.

Tamiko Beyer

We Come Elemental
Alice James Books

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