Global warming keeps them awake,
sweating between hot cotton sheets,
asking themselves have they turned off
the heater, oven, iron, and coffee pot?
Her hair spray and his shaving cream
that used to flirt in whispers
now hiss and hasten armageddon.
In bed, he hears distant
polar glaciers dripping
while she listens
to the night sky ripping.
They are counting on sleep
for a thimble of relief.
They are counting.
Sara Backer, author of the novel American Fuji, teaches at the University of Massachusetts at Lowell. Her poems have appeared in Poetry, Poetry Northwest, Slant, Lullwater Review, and others.