by Douglas Nordfors

“Global warming is no longer a philosophical threat, no
longer a future threat, no longer a threat at all. It’s our reality.”  – Bill McKibben, eaarth

This morning, my coat on, I drove to work
through cold sunlight, and thought about our
reality, the result of doing without first
thinking, and tried to, around my brain, wrap
human-centered weather around the core
of an orange held in a primate’s hand, and
asked myself how this could have happened, 
and asked myself why doing is sometimes aberrant – 
is that the right way to put it? This morning, 
I longed for last night, for the imaginary
field that wasn't a vacant lot, for the field
that, already white, turned even more. 
Last night, it was as if weather is never
aberrant, as if being cold is never wrong, 
even when snow falls sideways and touches
a bare neck, even though a scarf was right
there for the taking on a rack in a front hallway. 
Last night, coat and hat on, I walked on concrete
through cold rain to the nearby drugstore
to buy a few things, streetlights on, but no
streetlights illuminating a vacant lot, and
thought about drawing a small animal’s brain
in such a way that it looked like an orange, 
and of how if I did, I wouldn’t know if
I should make it peeled or not, and of how
if I had the power to make an orange
even smaller, and put it inside a small
animal’s head, it wouldn’t be like slipping
a tooth under a pillow, or like anything at all. 
No, all that never happened inside my head, even
though it could have, since thinking is never aberrant— 
does that make sense? What did happen was this: 
Twice, I tilted my head back, letting the uncovered
half of my forehead touch rain, letting rain
take the warmth that outer skin wishes to yield, 
and the starless sky fell back on its reality, 
like a blanket of snow sliding onto a white field.