Mary Harpin

August 5: Mine releases 60,000 Bathtubs Full of Heavy Metal Filled Wastewater into Animas River. -

An aneurysm has burst. Human greed makes trout
glow tangerine; electric tongues squirm in the belly
of the bear. Birds teach their young to sing and tumble
in metallic vapor. Farmers downriver sit up in bed, hear
three million gallons of human greed rumble toward
their fields, loud as a meteor. Irrigation systems have it coursing
through their veins. Humans spray mercury on heartsick fields.
Snails leave iridescent comet-tails on blacktop. Worms
slither through viaducts soaked with its drizzle. We
go on to feed our babies pureed human greed for lunch,
to scrape it from cheeks and chins. All that arsenic blood
pumping through valleys and plains. On the evening
news, the governor fills his water bottle and enjoys
a long, hearty swig. And just look at him. See?
He’s just fine.

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