complicit

i want to do something

about all this.

i want to be a part of the change

that needs to happen.

i want to walk away from my job,

as much as i love it,

and devote my life to

doing something

about all this.

i want to sleep on the ground

in washington.

i want to wake up next to you,

pour you a cup of coffee,

then hold your hand

and march.

i want to stand there,

proud.

not saying a word.

holding my fist in the air.

not leaving when they

tell me to.

i want them to kick my ass

because i wouldn’t listen.

because i was doing something

about all this.

i want to share a tent with

strangers.

i want to meet all the ones

like me.

normal people

who want to do something

about all this.

i want to stand with millions

on the capitol steps.

i want to never leave until

something has been done

about all this.

months and months like that.

living like slobs, and

wholly indecent people.

 

but i can’t walk away

from this.

i have a job.

they provide insurance.

i’ve got student loans.

 

if our credit rating

gets trashed, we won’t

ever own a home.

and maybe a baby will

find us someday soon.

i’ll have to work.

plus,

our house is comfortable.

and it might be cold in

washington.

the strangers might

smell bad,

or steal,

or kill me.

when i’m doing something

about all that.

 

i can’t risk it.

tonight i’m going to

eat at a real cool spot.

it’s a trendy banh-mi place

with green-haired cashiers.

i’m not afraid of them

because they’re kindly

taking my money.

 

we get along as we

share a moment

in exchange for getting

what we each want.

 

i will keep reading the news,

though.

hopefully someone does something

about all this.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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imitation game

this is a new theory of mine:

the lyme disease theory.

 

to start,

you may already know that

lyme disease is caused by ticks;

little parasitic arachnids

adept at

drinking the blood

of their hosts.

this is fairly well-known.

 

did you also know that

lyme disease is sometimes called

‘the great imitator’?

 

it is an extremely difficult disease

to properly diagnose.

it often mimics the

nightmare maladies:

fibromyalgia,

multiple-sclerosis,

ALS,

parkinson’s and

alzheimer’s.

 

a person close to a person close

has lived with an

alzheimer’s diagnosis

for the past three years.

turns out she actually has

lyme disease.

now that they know,

doctors think

they can cure her.

 

isn’t that crazy?

 

from the prolonged, sorrowful descent

into the incurable fog of alzheimer’s,

she may yet return.

thank heavens!

 

(so be watchful for ticks.)

 

now getting back to the theory:

it often seems that our

sick world is hurtling

towards

annihilation.

 

at the least,

we’re looking

pretty bad.

 

but,

perhaps neither our nation

nor world has

actually gone mad.

 

suppose we are

living with an unchecked

and untreated form

of lyme disease

which is

imitating everything we fear

in order to survive

within us.

 

perhaps it is the same culprit:

parasitic ticks.

 

the ticks descended upon us

only god knows when.

i postulate they’ve been

feeding from us for a while,

as our tragic symptoms

are well-advanced.

 

also, as ticks feed their

bodies swell.

the ticks we carry

should probably carry us

they’re so damn big.

 

they’ve taken purchase

on our aorta to ensure

they get all the blood

they need.

 

at first we were frustrated

that they needed such

necessary blood.

yet the ticks

are very

convincing.

 

and so we acquiesced.

“there is enough for all,”

we said.

 

“we’ll always have enough,”

we thought.

 

but as they drank and

fattened themselves,

they poisoned

our blood and

they’ve poisoned

our lives.

 

now our limbs flail madly

and rip at our own flesh

trying to end the pain in

our poisoned nerves.

 

now our brain

is deluded and not working

quite right because

we can’t recall

who we are.

 

now we live with a

craving for death, as

we see the future holds but

more and more pain

to endure.

 

and there will be more pain

unless we fight

this disease.

 

right now the ticks

are attempting

to swallow us

whole.

 

“your blood is no longer

good enough,”

they say,

“plus you owe us for

our service, so

we’ll just take

the rest.”

 

now the ticks tell us

“we are america.”

wasn’t that

our name?

 

the ticks tell us,

“we are in charge.”

the host is now

the guest.

 

the ticks tell us,

“you need us.”

don’t you

need us?

 

for so long

we’ve listened.

 

(we even dutifully listened to

their medical advice.)

 

but we are the body.

 

and a body near death

has astounding resilience.

 

before death

a moment of clarity will

come through the cloud,

a tunnel of light will

extend before us

and a voice will

erupt in our minds:

 

you are the body

that pumps the  blood.

you are the body

that moves the hand.

you are the body

that controls the voice.

you are the body

who listens to conscience.

you are the body

who bears all the fruits

of their pain.

you are a body

worth saving.

the tick says it was him who

spoke those words.

 

but the voice wasn’t like him

at all.