DEAD ZONES by Mollie Day

Dead Zones

Went down to the ship,
set keel to tempest, forth on the oily sea, and
swung our oars in the maze of pipelines.
Searing winds from the south and
our bodies heavy with weeping, but we
pulled fast over Gulf to day’s end. And there,

where moon’s eye sees nowhere,
platform corpses darken the water.
Night cowls the fish bones
in hot, filthy backflow. Rowed
through the fosse, open
for sacrifice. Black

blood flowed from a well.
Our hull snared on the cracked
oil vein, mired in swelling waters.


Mollie Day is a widely published environmental reporter and the author of In Uncharted Waters: Ecopoetic Images of the Gulf Coast. Mollie specializes in coastal Louisiana, the fastest disappearing landmass in America and ground zero for environmental change. She is a fellow of the Institute for Environmental Communications, Loyola University, New Orleans, and holds a masters degree in Creative Writing from the University of New Orleans. Mollie understands the landscape – its indivisible ecological and cultural elements – as the extension and potential of who we are. She is closely acquainted with the intricate, biological, cultural, economic and political web that suspends this delicate region. She is committed to writing about the interconnectivity of pieces that we tend to compartmentalize.

3 thoughts on “DEAD ZONES by Mollie Day

  1. Tie me fast to your main mast Mollie,
    Your wail song plumbs my deeps,
    Swings this fair old Gulf craft round,
    Spun on the sheening whale road.

    Lie quiet Ez (although he never did).
    That would be ex-Odyssean Ezra Pound, out of Idaho,
    Hardly a remnant of the coast of Louisiana,
    But disappearing too unfortunately.

  2. You’re brilliant, Mollie, where do these words come from? I feel every bit of their pain. And the photo is fantastic.

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