I found your newspaper the other day—
the one where you imagined a future
free of violence and war—you called it
“The Daily Empowerer.” I like that!
Things haven’t worked out as well as you wished.
Have you read Nineteen-Eighty-Four? (I write
out numbers as political protest!)
(They’re too long to tattoo that way—and tatts
are now legal identification.)
(I’m going to imagine you just gasped—
yes, it is very Nazi just like chains
and collars from your time were very S
and M. You know, right? Violent and proud.
Don’t get me started! We are harder to
counterfeit, but easier to enslave.)
Peace teams. That’s what I liked best about your
imaginary future—how they were
everywhere to heal erosion and dig
fresh water wells and restock wildlife—
a wonderful vision. Well, teams are out
and about to claim and protect beauty—
what little of it remains—for the one
percent of the population that owns
the rest. The uninvited are shot dead
on the spot. No questions asked. No answers.
I’ll spare you the rest except to thank you
for your vision. I’m copying it out
on the inside of our stiff uniform
pants. That’s where we keep beauty these days when
tatts cover our skins with legal docs and
permits, leaving only private
parts for memories of flowers. We use
indelible inks derived from road tar
and blood. Our repairers of buttons, snaps
and hems act as go-betweens and make sure
only trustworthy workers read your lines.
You remind us of hope and living things.
Empowerment Now is a secret faith
and a rallying cry from a prophet.
We hoard found seeds and plant them in your name.
I believe we have three hidden gardensover sacred wells from your good old days.
For Grace's Poetics: A poem from the future
at dVerse poets Pub.
Note: In another mood, on another day, I wrote a very different vision
for dVerse Poets Pub called "Coming Home."
Copyright © 2015 S.L.Chast