Poem for January

Strongylocentrotus Purpuratus

Since we met over that weak latté
that you claimed was too strong and I
indulged in one excellently crisp croissant

of which you ate half without my permission
in Spitalfields where Guatamalan coffee beans
dress the shelves of Crispin’s where they do

the best eggs and you can’t unhear City gents
loudly debating Brexit and brand strategy I
have been wishing you had not mentioned

starving purple sea urchins in their dead kelp forests
off the coast of California where I took a wine tour
of glyphosate-free vineyards only last year

my dear friend I know you didn’t mean to leave me
burdened and despairing but later as I went about
my business among humans in the underground rush

fishing for my Oyster card I found no less
than four dessicated urchins deep in my pocket and
foraging for seaweed at Planet Organic I crunched

scores more of them under my feet and discovered
dozens of starved cadavers scattered amongst
tofu variations in the cold store and even now

as I write this poem from (trust me) my sustainably
recycled chair I feel their responsibly sourced
purple spikes boring into my spine I swear

By Jacqueline Saphra, a poet for the planet member

Poetry in response to the climate crisis. Poets for the Planet is a community of kindred poets, performers, artists and creative activists raising their voices to engage with climate and ecological emergency through poetry in all its forms.