Wind Farm

On Happy Jack Road
the great wind turbines, like apocalyptic herons,
big-beaked birds that eat everything,
even the sky, sweep across the highway.
They stand so close to the shoulder
the shadows of their hungry legs
cut our path to pieces:
swooosh! in front, the road ahead sectioned;
swooop! behind, at the bumper, the past receding,
portioned out to orphan-memories.

But we know better, don’t we?
It’s all oil and gas in Wyoming,
roughnecks and roustabouts, in a state where
most of a town’s treasure is in pumpjacks.
I sit behind a pickup heading out Wind River way,
or to Rawlins, and he has a sticker on the crew cab
that says, Paid for by Oil & Gas.

The wind holds its tongue until the early morning,
when it moans across sagebrush flats,
three days straight, gusting to fifty.
It has tried to tell us, shoring snow,
snorting and kicking dirt like an unbroke pony:
sometimes you can’t tell the difference
between what you are
and what you think you are.

I should know, gripping the wheel of my own truck
on Happy Jack Road,
eight years a homeowner, black coffee on the terrace,
watching the sun in its tight circle.
Yes, you know better, says the Laramie wind.
This was always you,
the past peeling off behind like ropeburn skin,
the blacktop slipping under these spinning tires
like truth.

My Microbiome Is Kicking Ass

You’re sixty in September.
You’ve gotta start looking after yourself,
my wife said, and she made a list
of prebiotics and probiotics —
a few biotics I barely remember.
Ease up on the tarts,
the lemon meringue and its sugary foam,
on Clif Bars, pasta, salsa, Oreos,
GMOs, bread and Eskimo Pies!
Have lentils instead, and onions,
Cox’s Orange Pippins, big as a fist.
It begins in the gut, she promised,
not in the heart.

So I made a start
with real raw honey
(really? she sighed;
ha! prebiotic, I said)
and if it hadn’t been for the cost
of tempeh, cacao, a whole lot of cha…
Hey, I’m not made of money, I grumbled
(well, something grumbled, and it grumbled
through the night like a fermented beast).
Are you all right? she asked.
Maybe some brewer’s yeast?

Feeling pretty good, to be honest,
and if it wasn’t for the gas,
I’d say my microbiome’s kicking ass.

It’s separated from my body.
It’s keeping a schedule
I just can’t match:
it addressed the UN Assembly
on Climate Change Tuesday;
someone said it broke into the boardroom
of a big oil refiner,
forced them all to eat kimchi,
retrained a West Virginia miner,
reunited an immigrant family in detention
(it rates a daily mention
in the presidential tweets),
brought four or five bird species
back from the brink of extinction,
refroze an ice cap —
how do you even do that? —
offset China’s carbon footprint
with a megaton of wind,
and permanently, single-handedly
just implemented the Paris agreement.

Lord Jesus! said my sweetheart.
You should probably rein that sucker in.
Put aside the yogurt.
This evening, take a break:
here’s a liter of Barolo
and a chocolate brownie cake!