The Day Spits in Your Eye – Donna J. Gelagotis Lee

The day spits in your eye,


and you thought the day was too bright, but not the way the blue slid

across the horizon while the white houses fell dark and the last

of the shepherd’s flock was heard. You are looking, 

but somewhere the sea escaped, slid over a mountain.


It’s too foolish to make sense of your rationing the earth’s movement.

How frugal we are, what with calendars and life expectancy. What with

careers and retirement. The decades sat in your hat all that time.

And now you put it on?! I’m telling the young man about a place where time


tried to exist otherwise. Where the sea and the land blessed one another

and the gods had dramas to spin. The sky held olive groves in its sight.

The ocean caught whiffs of pine. Fish dove into coves, and marsh birds

found salt beds to nest near, full of sardines. There were other places


as wild and in balance, but some disappeared or changed into parks

and gorges cut with paths of tourists. Now you live in suburbia

with paved streets and pesticide yards. The day spits in your eye

because it’s had to get tough to survive. And you’re the fault line that runs


through it. It’s laying out what scant wildlife is left. And you’re starting

your engine. You’re putting more refuse in landfills, where birds emerge

with choke necklaces. The sky’s rolling clouds through your pollution.

The moon is trying on a new face with smog. The rivers are hoping


for a clean mountain runoff. And the most pristine mountains

are wagering they won’t be fracked. The ocean eyes barges peaked with trash.

The beaches are sanding-over bottles and tossed waste.

And you’re blinking, rubbing your eye, looking for a bottle of water.