STUPIDITY IS BIODEGRADABLE
I sit on my pedestal of seltzer cans, polishing a jelly jar for recycling, disturbed by the trash bins overflowing with plastic on campus. I used to toss water bottles filled with tobacco spit out of my car, press cigarette butts into the soil and spill gasoline into lakes. But ever since I donated $20 to the Ocean Conservatory for a purple manatee tee shirt, it’s personal. Like the Egyptian servants who covered themselves in honey to attract flies away from the pharaoh, I, too, go to extremes. I’ll use two gallons of clean water to rinse out a peanut butter jar. My roommates tease, Dude, the bees sent you a letter, they need your help. I’ll drive twenty miles one-way for some lavender to plant. I don’t feel degraded. I’m biodegradable.
Cole Depuy, the winner of the Negative Capability Press Spring 2020 Poetry Contest, is a Ph.D. student at SUNY Binghamton & recipient of the Provost’s Doctoral Summer Fellowship. His poetry is forthcoming or has appeared in The Penn Review, Ilanot Review, The Maynard, The Paterson Literary Review, & elsewhere. He is also a poetry reader for Harpur Palate & instructor for the Binghamton Poetry Project.