By Ellery Akers

There was a moment
when shooting egrets for feathers became wrong.
There was a moment
when the Wilderness Act
changed the lives of billions of blades of grass.

I remember the moment when a river that used to catch
fire
turned from flammable to swimmable.

A swerve smells astringent, like the wind off the sea;
it tastes red, the way Red Hot cinnamon mints
burn in your mouth;
it’s heavy, the way the weight of letters is heavy,
arriving in sacks at the Senate;
it sounds like the click of needles
as hundreds of thousands of women knit pink hats;
it looks like a coyote, crossing the freeway to go home.