tw // this poem mentions imperialist genocide against indigenous peoples and compares it to the slaughter of livestock
Mist and fog creep through
a patchwork of a dozen shades of green.
This has to be what poets mean
When of paradise their mighty pens speak.
The jumbled medley of
varied grey clouds
pulsate, pregnant with the source of life.
Electric crackles cut like a knife.
The sky is alive, dynamic, and loud.
Historical waste leaks
and finds its way into the ocean-bound river,
a beautiful low speed courier delivering
Prepackaged radiation burns to livestock
set for the slaughter
just a few hours north
from the place
where they drowned an indigenous culture
like a ravenous, white, imperialist vulture,
for the genocide-powered hydroelectric rat race.
Oh don’t worry, their
memory lives on. We gave
their names to our bridges and counties to celebrate
their memory, and the bounty of our violent fate
that we built on their freshly manicured lawn-covered graves.
Justin(e) Norton-Kertson (they/he/she) is a queer and multigender author, poety, musician, photographer, and community organizer. In addition to writing poetry and short stories, she writes and plays music for the antifascist neofolk band, Ashera, whose music has been written about in Protean Magazine and A Blaze Ansuz among others. He lives outside of Eugene, Oregon with his partner and animal friends. They can be found on Twitter @countryjim13.