America’s Third Coming
after “The Second Coming,” by W.B. Yeats
Dredging and dredging in the widening harbor;
Pilot whales are deafened by navy sonar;
Reefs fall apart; our island cannot hold;
Invasive species unleashed upon the shore,
The sewers flood Marine Corps Drive, and everywhere
The day of liberation is crowned;
The politicians lack conviction, while businessmen
Arrive with predatory investments.
Securely, America cuffs our hands;
Securely, the Third Coming will desecrate the land.
No to the military buildup! Our voices rise
As sunburnt tourists take selfies;
We stare in fear: in the waves of the Pacific
A shape with eagle body and tip of the spear,
A gaze imperial and valiant as a shield,
Is moving its slow violence, while all around us
Flock ghosts of extinct native birds.
The pivot has begun; but now we know
That a century of colonial sleep
was startled awake in a weapons cradle,
America’s war beast, its hunger come round again,
Carriers towards Guam to be berthed.