Forgive me for running the tap too long,
houseplants murdered, paper
towels and paper plates,
brand new light bulbs dropped, the shabby
and house lights left on when no one was home.
Sorry for the now-extinct mice
I killed for living in my air conditioner.
The flowers cut before they went to seed
the fruits and veggies I didn’t get around to eating
or bottles and cans too lazy to fish
from the trash. I apologize for leaving the crust of my bread,
tin foil after one use.
But I’m not sorry for
the smokes I smash out after a few drags
during the countdown toward a polluted future
I will miss
days of excessive living
with soap or washers and dryers or
radios or wallets or gas stations
from a time when I thought
recycling was good enough.
Juan Morales is the author of the poetry collections The Siren World, Friday and the Year That Followed, and the forthcoming collection, The Handyman’s Guide to End Times. He is a CantoMundo Fellow, the Editor of Pilgrimage Magazine, and an Associate Professor of English at Colorado State University-Pueblo, where he directs the Creative Writing Program and curates the SoCo Reading Series.