from NATURE POEM
We are the last animal to arrive in the kingdom—even science will tell you that.
My father takes me into the hills we cut sage. He tells me, thank the plant for its sacrifice. Every time I free a switch of it a burst of prayer for every leaf.
I’m swoll on knowing this, sharing the pride of plants.
My mother waves at oak trees. A doctor delivers her diagnosis.
When she ascends the mountains to pick acorn, my mother motherfucking waves at oak trees. Watching her stand there, her hands behind her back, rocking, grinning
into the face of the bark—
They are talking to each other.
I am nothing like that, I say to my audience.
I say, I went to Sarah Lawrence College
I make quinoa n shit
Once on campus I see a York peppermint patty wrapper on the ground, pick it up, and throw it away. Yr such a good little Indian says some dick walking to class. So,
I no longer pick up trash.
I don’t like thinking abt nature bc nature makes me suspect there is a god.
Monumental bowl of ash overtaking hikers, for example—the cloud’s arms sweep down the mountainside
a gasp from the mouth of natural wonder, eyes peel skyward
Agreed. A greed. Aahhh. Greed.
God wants everything, n I’m like God—you, I’m sorry, but you are too much of a time commitment. I have a work thing. It’s not you, it’s me.
God is wearing short shorts and demands worship, n I’m like God, yr balls are showing!!!
I’m trying to explain this very slowly.
My friend works at a dispensary. In the waiting room, they have one of those ball lightning things. Plasma globe. Makes everyone feel like Storm. Whatever keeps stoners staring
is the only kind of nature I could bare.
TOMMY “Teebs” PICO was a Queer/Art/Mentors inaugural fellow, 2013 Lambda Literary fellow in poetry, and has poems in BOMB, Guernica, and [PANK]. Originally from the Viejas Indian reservation of the Kumeyaay nation, he now lives in Brooklyn and co-curates the reading series Poets With Attitude (PWA) with Morgan Parker.