Those Moments When You Calculate Projected Lifespan By Artemisio Romero y Carver

Those Moments When You Calculate Projected Lifespan

catching Kansas fireflies
with my little cousin, with
the fireworks behind us, with
the combined effect of a
peripheral wave of tiny lights
a peripheral wall of state
police that followed us here
like younger siblings, with guns,
into this old spanish church

a rounded mud settlement
filled into a cathedral, made
to an art museum, now made,
and in a real way returned,
to a government building
an end result, among many,
is a mural celebrating colonization
the choir of conquistadors in iron
y behind a white cabinet secretary
lying about fracking1

we shout true things, which in turn
makes others shout similar things.
and the volume is flooding. as a ploy
they give a toddler a microphone
she is probably the same age as my cousin
she talks about trees, school and
extinction. the secretary is deaf
ingly earnest

By Artemisio Romero y Carver

1 an industrial process where freshwater is blasted at shale deposits in order to produce mostly radioactive waste, and a small amount of oil.


Artemisio Romero y Carver is a Chicana poet and activist. She is a YoungArts Merit Award Winner for Spoken Word and Santa Fe’s 2020 Youth Poet Laureate. Poems by Artemisio have appeared in publications that include Inlandia Literary Journal, Rigorous Literary Journal, Pasatiempo Magazine, and Magma Poetry. Her writing has appeared in the following anthologies: Dreams of Montezuma (Stalking Horse Press), Everything Feels Recent When Your Far Away (Axle Contemporary Press), and A Tiny Grain of Sand: The National Youth Poet Laureate Anthology 2021. She is currently pursuing degrees in sociology and studio arts at Washington University in Saint Louis. She also goes by Arte.

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