Earth, Sometimes I Try to Play It Casual,

A poem by Catherine Pierce

By Catherine Pierce

October 29, 2022

like Hey mercury, hey malachite, I'm busy today,
can't stop to marvel, but always my blood is saying
O god you starsprung miracle. It's self-preservation,

letting myself believe laundry matters,
letting myself believe there's anything other than
egrets and oceans and vast moss carpets and

the finite heart of every single person I love.
Earth, you terrify me—you are fierce green
and honeysuckle, you are herds of wild ponies,

and you are leaving, always. Is it any wonder
some days I look at my laptop instead of out
the window? Every time I glance up

there you are, quaking me with your fern fronds
and silver frost. O you of the rhyolite mountains.
You of the dew-hung web. You are lemon quartz

and quicksand. Muskrats and starfish. How
could I be any way but staggered? O blue spruce,
O white fir, O green forever, you know

my nonchalance is a sham. It's so hard to admit
our real desires. Earth, what I want is to sit gentle
under your twilight purple, watch your bats

hunt and dive. What I want is to know about
endings and still love each bat, each shade
of the boundless, darkening sky.