Love in a Time of Climate Change
by Craig Santos Perez
(published in his book, Habitat Threshold, 2020, Omnidawn)
recycling Pablo Neruda’s “Sonnet XVII”
I don’t love you as if you were rare earth metals,
conflict diamonds, or reserves of crude oil that cause
war. I love you as one loves the most vulnerable
species: urgently, between the habitat and its loss.
I love you as one loves the last seed saved
within a vault, gestating the heritage of our roots,
and thanks to your body, the taste that ripens
from its fruit still lives sweetly on my tongue.
I love you without knowing how or when this world
will end. I love you organically, without pesticides.
I love you like this because we’ll only survive
in the nitrogen rich compost of our embrace,
so close that your emissions of carbon are mine,
so close that your sea rises with my heat.