“When I look at climate change,” said Mike Brune

When I look at climate change

I see myself

taste my own breath

feel my own skin

smell my own gas

I see the faces of

living creatures

beautiful people neighborhoods

and forests

that I cough at and spit on

everyday just by

turning on the light switch or

eating my oats in the morning

It is so damn easy

to keep living this comfortable life

so easy to put plastic in the trash

and to drive to San Francisco

instead of taking the bart

It is so damn easy

and that is the scariest thing.

When I look at climate change

I see my own eyes staring back at me

not my “carbon footprint”

but my very own eyes that

translate symbol into spirit into stuff

In my eyes I see what I have seen

communities ravaged

people with asthma, cancer, smoke down their lungs

the wake of Typhoon Yolanda and

the Chevron refinery explosion in Richmond

I see all the mourners in the world

and then I see the light switch

and then I see the ecosystem of

climate oppression

in which I play a part

with my fingers, dollars, and even

my voice

I am both trapped and actively participating

in this cruel and filthy ecosystem.

When I look at climate change

I see my hopeful self

my eyes that absorb the universe as best they can

my voice that sings the universe as best it can

the choices I have yet to make

the actions that await

all resonating beyond me.

When I look at climate change

I pray that I am bold enough. 

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