Maybe another vein.
Some new device will come out, something which, for hours on end, will dull the bodily rage we feel after a third-of-day’s labor. We’ll come home tired, driving across hot asphalt past ghosts of forests, over corpse of bison, elk, and ‘Indian,’ after hours of coding, or answering phones. Level-voiced women and men will soothe us with promises of a bright weekend, great beach weather, they’ll advise, between cloying advertisements for Christmas sales and New Year’s parties.
Interspersed, the assurances–the President said this, Congress will do that. Arguments between themselves, left-hand right-hand both stroking the slicked-up phallus before glowing altars with new operating systems and lifted faces.
We’ll grumble to each other–she’s not doing what she promised, he’s violating the Constitution, never once daring to plumb the depths of mythic paper and civic religion because it’s Friday.
Prices rise for salad greens we don’t eat anyway, for apartments in neighborhoods we wouldn’t bother to live in. Gas goes down and we have a little extra money, gas goes up and maybe we’ll take a bus.
Sorting bits of paper into green bins and bottles into blue, we’ll smile, having done enough.
Black man dead. Another Black man dead. Black kid dead. Muslim arrested, more Muslims arrested, a Black man shot a woman, a Black crowd burned a mom-and-pop shop.
New iPhone, though, and 2 more miles per gallon, and anyway the kids gotta go to practice, the mortgage’s gotta be paid.
Maybe we’ll find another vein. The floods, the droughts, the landslides, the blizzards, the weather is always something, isn’t it? New lightbulb to poison the ocean, don’t eat that fish if you’re pregnant, retirement might not be there.
We’ll cling. We’ll claw, grasp, choke and grab and clutch and cling to things supposed to be. This is America, you know, this could be better but we’ll get there and how come they want to kill us?
Spirits scream from dying forests, but they’ll build some low-income housing to make up for it. Rivers dead, but desalination plants will make it better. Can’t get in that vein anymore, but there are others. Between the toes so no one knows, like the time we didn’t sort paper from plastic in that bin. Heated and injected into the thigh, if you really need the eye–you can always make due.
We’ll argue. Divine from the cards, from the stars, from the history book and the talk-shows, pundits and putrefaction but anyway, I’ve gotta go to work and how many jobs will that really make anyway?
Water shut-off in cities full of Black folk so we don’t care. Water wars in Ireland but that’s so far away, water pumped from before the days of walking apes but we gotta grow our food, can’t just go without.
Maybe, just maybe, there’s another vein.