I Object, by Eva Hagenhofer

I object

to food being left in the fields to rot

while those who have, celebrate.

As Leviticus  says: the harvest is not done

‘til all have eaten.

I object

to calling deserts “wastelands”, lands-for-our-waste,

when all that we are really naming

is our own ignorance

of all that breathes and teems

in a space unknown to us.

I object

to cities lit by fuels of fossil strength

to illuminate the night – for what?

so that we can neither breathe by day

nor see the stars

in whose nurseries

Carbon is born.

I object

To saying “ straight” to mean not gay

( even though it may also mean not happy )

as if to love one’s own

were crooked,

as if to love could ever,

ever would,

be wrong.

I object

to bad coffee

that is also not “fair”

if by “fair” we mean

what it would mean

if I were you and you were me.

It is unfair to use fair as an ambiguous adjective;

even we knew this as kids:

“Fair is fair.”

I object

to obliterating history

re-writing time,

resetting calendars to the year “1”

as if there were not, had not been,

three thousand

seven hundred

sixty one years

already counted

and Lawfully lived.

I object

to forgetting

as if the past were superfluous,

just so much flotsam in the tides of time,

as if, Jean-Paul, all that counts is now.

Refusal to remember is not

an innocent vagueness,

not an individual indolence

for all forgetting takes others’ memories

of moments that have mattered,

and looses to obdurate oblivion what could instruct us all.

I object.


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