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To the Earth
I'm sorry if I scorched your skin with rivers of hot asphalt.
I'm sorry if I burned your soil dry
until it became only a crumbling crust
and then smothered you in tar and concrete
until scars of scalding black traced my path across your skin.
I'm sorry if I hid my misdeeds
in the choppy waves of your endless oceans.
I'm sorry if I choked your sea-faring children
with my profit-sodden refuse,
but you have to understand
the value of a dollar.
I'm sorry if I plunged my pipelines deep beneath your surface.
I'm sorry if I hollowed out your chest
just to drink your rich, black blood
and I'm sorry if the drippings of my meal
cloaked your seabirds in rainbow slick
and rolled your fishes belly-up.
I'm sorry if my smoking habit ever hurt you,
if my smokestack cigars
and tailpipe cigarettes
ever settled over your cities in heavy, yellow clouds.
I never wanted you to inhale my poison breath
but nicotine is a hard drug to break
and I'll already be gone before the cancer catches up with me.
I'm sorry if my words are empty
and my pockets are full.
I'm sorry if I'm too narrow-minded
to understand my own insignificance.
Let's shake hands, you and I
as if we are better friends than we are enemies.
I'd like to say that meeting with you has changed my mind
but you know by now
that I don't make promises I can't keep.