Lying on the couch with a fever raging through me, I watch leaves dropping from the cottonwood outside my window. I have one hand on a speaker so I can feel this violin sonata of Mozart. Sometimes hearing just isn’t enough. In my fever, with the gently-refracted light through the streaked glass, I can’t be sure if it’s leaves or little birds that are falling; pine siskins perhaps, or mountain bluebirds.
Suddenly, it’s the last autumn. The final fall. All the birds fall silently from the trees like yellowed leaves. The bears prepare for a hibernation without end. The last of the green bleeds from the earth like the color from our faces when we hear the news. Our skin grows numb and we lose control of our hands. No amount of Mozart can save us now.
The grey of the sky is an iron door continually slamming shut. The mountainsides are crimson with dead trees: the warming brought the beetles and the pines can’t climb any higher to escape. I don’t remember voting for this. I don’t remember choosing profits for oil companies in favor of life. Wasn’t there a moment, some time in the recent past, that we could have said, “No”?