1/8 of an Inch | Teen Ink

1/8 of an Inch

May 20, 2019
By Halcyonday PLATINUM, Johnson City, Tennessee
Halcyonday PLATINUM, Johnson City, Tennessee
27 articles 29 photos 7 comments

Favorite Quote:
"Why is it that we rejoice at a birth and cry at a funeral? It is because we are not the ones involved."
-Mark Twain, "Pudd'nHead Wilson"

Two eyes sink into one shriveled skull

Saltless eyes piled high in a Dead Sea

No clear water runs with which to

Wet them, hope foolishly to soothe them

From ashes to ashes, dust and more dust

No ice lives in her heart, in spite of it all

Her philanthropic hands gave each shard away but

Her intentions weren’t enough to save the floes

That disappeared when the Northwest Passage

Exchanged its cloak of legend with a hush

She’ll stare at brown skies as

Argon clouds lie, she was there

When heaven fell, cradled the last bird as it died

She’ll have no last breath, no ending exhale

Dagger wind has depleted every earthly air

Now it’s waves without wind, doldrum domain

She’ll curse cloying tar

Coursing through craving veins

Each creosote beat marks a deathly refrain

She’ll sink soft in the sea, Mother Nature at peace

The last fading ghost in waters not free

She’s Gone -

Gone, and Gone.


The metal claws that lift her, limp

For a fleeting second look like a different

Kind of claw, one that caws and claws and

Feasts on crab and krill and instinct

Not on mechanics, not diesel nor progress

And so her smile falls

Right off of what’s left of her face

And splats with the trash, in what’s left of

The sea that once was a living thing

Long before memory, before her mouth shriveled up

Like a goldfish that gasps on what’s left of the air

The author's comments:

1/8 of an inch is the average annual rise in global sea levels, although floods, droughts, and ice melts all present their own contrasting problems for a rapidly warming Earth. Poor communities, small islands, and nations close to the equator are disproportionately suffering from the effects of climate change; ironically, these are the areas least responsible for climate damage.

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