The American Journal of Poetry
"Strong Rx Medicine"®

 

Clint Margrave

Melancholia

 

This kid from Greenpeace rings the doorbell.
I’ve just pulled a pizza out of the oven,
poured a glass of wine,
about to watch a Lars Von Trier film.

“The melting arctic,” he says.
“The polar bears.
The warming oceans.”

He must be in his early twenties.
Wears a green shirt
with STAFF written on the sleeve.
Girls probably dig his beard.
Could be out getting laid this Friday night
instead of trying to save the planet.

“I’m sorry,” I say. “I appreciate your cause
but I don’t have time.”
He puts his arm down
with the clipboard.
“Can I just ask why?” he says. “Because
you seem sympathetic.”

I want to tell him how it’s nothing personal,
that I’m probably a shitty person,
because when I pay with an ATM card
at the grocery store
and get solicited to donate
money to cancer research
I usually decline,
even though it killed my father.

I want to tell him it really is a shame about
the polar bears,
but all I can do right now is think
about that wine and pizza
and Lars Von Trier film,
which I once fell asleep in the middle of,
back when I was still married,
but remember it
had something to do
with depression,
and the end of the world,
and how we’re all
gonna die.

 

 

 

CLINT MARGRAVE is the author of Salute the Wreckage (2016) and The Early Death of Men (2012), both published by NYQ Books. His work has been featured on Garrison Keillor’s The Writer’s Almanac, as well as in New York Quarterly, Rattle, Cimarron Review, The American Journal of Poetry, Verse Daily, Word Riot, and Ambit (UK), among others. He lives in Los Angeles, CA.

 

 

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