HomeSouthern VoiceAs the Mercury Rises

As the Mercury Rises

by Keith Moser

As the mercury rises,
Our mirrors of glass shatter
As the arctic ice caps melt,
Our hubris capsizes under the waves
As the wildfires endlessly rage,
Our narcissistic dreams turn to ash
As the desert expands its kingdom,
Our self-centered universe bursts into flames
As the great Salt Lake desalinates,
Our self-proclaimed grandeur evaporates
As the soil supporting our weight erodes,
Our delusions are forever interred
As the sea corrals permanently fade,
Our mental stains are bleached
As the rainforests take their final breath,
Our realm of words becomes a deluge of blood
As the last tree hits the ground,
Our house of cards buckles in the wake
As the cataclysmic twister swirls,
Our hierarchies dissipate like a grain of sand
As the mercury rises,
Our mirrors of glass shatter

Keith Moser is a professor of French and Francophone Studies at Mississippi State
University. He is the author of eight full-length book projects, the latest of which is entitled
Contemporary French Environmental Thought in the Post-COVID-19 Era. Moser has also
contributed 79 essays to peer-reviewed publications representing many divergent
fields, including French and Francophone studies, environmental ethics, ecocriticism,
ecolinguistics, biosemiotics, social justice, popular culture, postmodern thought and
Maghrebi/Harki literature.

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