The Fever


for L

The coral reefs are changing color,
the black and crimson bleached away:
the ocean's rising fever,

in every drop the seas over,
damages the membrane of symbiotic algae
and coral reefs change their color.

True, it's less sensational than acts of terror.
True, we can slather sunblock then sunbathe
despite the ocean's rising fever.

After all, the planet isn't boiling over;
algae is not an inflamed country.
It's just coral reefs, changing color.

I wonder if it's, yet again, the ozone layer
ruined by my aunt's persistent use of hairspray—
this ocean's rising fever.

I already own my share of vivid jewelry
from Mother's childhood village on Maui.
Still, the living are losing color
in my ocean's escalating fever.