talking about climate change in an english class

katharine kistler


A professor tells me: Soon the weather here will be 
tropical. We will know it has shifted when giant
fruit bats hang down visible in the trees.

The butterflies are making their way through our city 
now. I walk through a cloud of them on my way
to the bus stop, quick flutters hit my forehead

and I know it will be cold soon. I know the bus
will be late, and my boss will wonder where I am
until I burst through the door, sweaty from the run

from busstop to building. I wonder where the monarchs
sleep when its raining, how long until they come back
out to freckle the sky. Today I am twenty-three,

I have not loved outside my family, but I mirror
empathy until I feel I do. A wing caresses my eyelid
and turns my vision orange. Nature’s sweet interruption

awes me and I let myself be patient as these creatures
move around my body. I breathe my air and theirs, 
I’d like to stay until the fruit bats come calling home.



Katharine Kistler is an MFA Poetry Candidate at Texas State University. She got her bachelor’s degree from the University of Texas at Austin. Her poetry, fiction, and nonfiction appears and is forthcoming in High Shelf Press, Shiela-Na-Gig, Roadrunner Review, and Camping Magazine. She is originally from San Antonio, Texas.