hawaiʻi  december 2021





“bath time” my daughter says  waddling to the tub



with her rubber duckies  how do i explain  16,000 gallons



of jet fuel spilled  from the navy’s underground storage tanks



built during world war two  directly above an aquifer



in red hill  once named kapūkaki  [countless lehua blossoms]



just a few miles from our apartment  “we can’t turn



on the faucet” i tell her  “the water is sick”



we wash with a soapy sponge  rinse with bottled water



oily sheen  diesel fumes  total petroleum



hydrocarbons  slowly plume through pipelines



[tph-d 140,000 ppb]  what is national security if the military



poisons our own wells  “daddy  we have to take care



of the water” she says  as it flows down the drain



“it always takes care of us” ola i ka wai