Some ask how could we bring a babe into this time
when the North Pole’s a puddle in the dark
but I ask: what will you do with your cat?
The indoor toms and queens; shall they be released?
When the splash pad’s parched and the fountain’s stripped
will you spend a ration for your familiar, or
shall you calculate their age, deem them roughly adult
and set them free? No, I know you like I know me.
We need to make eyes with someone helpless we can help.
The prompt was cats. We have two cats. Our neighbours have two cats. My sister and her husband, three doors down, have a cat. Ours will be the coziest settlement amidst the fallout.
Professor insists DEMOCRACIES DO NOT GO TO WAR.
Is it a genocide if everyone had a vote?
FOR THE GOOD OF MANKIND the Bikinians were relocated to a neighbouring atoll. Their Kind said, “We go believing everything is in the hands of God.” Fifteen atomic sunrises later
the place is safe enough for tourists to demystify, advertised alongside package tours to Chernobyl and Gettysburg and NAME A CONCENTRATION CAMP.
There are trees today on Bikini Atoll older than this green author. Large mammals thrive within the Cold War’s half-life. The blonde old President graces the battlefield, won’t be cowed by allegations—HE’LL SUE EVERY SINGLE ONE. Before free trips to Israel, Jewish pilgrims may pay to see a concentration camp.
An atoll is a coral tiara where a volcano was, or
an atoll is a stain where the Big Gulp was.
The benevolent general said, “In our country we have a saying: YOU CAN’T GO HOME AGAIN.” The benevolent government said, “Have a half billion,” then skimped on stamps, closed the office, and the benevolent society loyalists said, “Cash for cheques and envelopes? Didn’t y’hear, we just promised the vicitms a half billion?”
“Didn’t y’know a lagoon’s a lake where there was a volcano? That pristine situation a by-product of primordial violence? The Jews got Israel, the slaves some Freedom. Imagine what beauty’s due for America again.”
The prompt was things you cannot see in their entirety, like atolls. The photo is from the Associated Press.
Auto-complete commits to my mistakes
(my mom becomes a mountain). One minute’s
effort on the internet fails to explain
how white words were etched
into old photographs. I’ve no third thing.
Reading this to myself I convince myself
this is poetry (I have a lilt). Having misread
a text from a friend about another friend
and how things went, I lost it—yowling in
the basement about commitment
I assumed the worst. I ignore my mother
and she has to text my wife. There are photos
of my son’s namesake’s wedding and I
made no comment to date. What now?
Rush to do better? Yah, I guess so.
I open Facebook again with empty hope.
Props to jesslyn “we can’t see if the foundation is cracked” delia for getting me all parenthetical. She too is writing a poem-a-day for National Poetry Month, so follow her too.