Environmentally Friendly by Robin Gow

Environmentally Friendly

You can be buried above ground
in a casket made of wicker. You can die
in an eco-friendly way and the earth can
swallow you back up and your bones can
become trees and the trees can suck you up
in their roots and the grass can drink you
in their roots and the animals can eat the grass
and the animals can then shimmer with
particles of you and something about this
is not comforting and something about this
feels like disappearing. Do all humans have
my same need for the physical to never change?
Do other animals look at their bodies
and see fragments—a smashed mirror.
Who taught me this? There are appliances
in my house that I touched each day that will
last longer than my skin. What’s keeping
the grass from taking me now? What if
I sleep in a black plastic bag by accident?
What if all my objects thought of me
as their pet the same way I think of
owning a goldfish beautiful
beautiful beautiful
boring dead
new goldfish
beautiful beautiful.
The goldfish died and were buried in
our back yard and all became part
of the pine tree and at night the tree
dangles the ghosts of goldfish from
its branches. I want to be
good for the environment. I sometimes
recycle when I can. I love disposable items though
and I love individual packages and how safe
they are. I think of each casket like
a final package—one serving.
I’m sorry that was morbid but
there was cellophane to be used.
There was packing peanuts
to fill the cavity with. A safe travel.
A shipping size. Can this be
repurposed? Put me in paper bags.
Trees are now growing white
as bone. I am more biodegradable than ever. 


Robin Gow‘s poetry has recently been published in POETRY, New Delta Review, and Roanoke Review. He is a graduate student and professor at Adelphi University pursing an MFA in Creative Writing. He is the Editor at Large for Village of Crickets and Social Media Coordinator for Oyster River Pages. He is an out and proud bisexual transgender man passionate about LGBT issues. He loves poetry that lilts in and out of reality and his queerness is also the central axis of his work.