The Half-Life of Plastic

                        We have slept with death all our lives.
                        It will grind out its graceless victory.

—Jack Gilbert

While new planets are growing
old stars are dying

and I’m listening to heartbeats
that want the half-life of plastic

Before I am reconceived
I want to cradle warm smiles

I want to see how heavy
the edge of heaven is

But gravity is dry heaving in a coffin of sky
and scientists watch with robotic gasps

This is not a formula   
I am not a flame screaming burn

The air is full of chemicals
I am full of chemicals

and I will be failed by membranes and rhetoric
fighting test tubes and stanzas

as I wait to walk into shadows
I wait to be inside things I’ll never know

Originally appeared in Antique Children