In the legend, homeless camps are erected under billboards extolling life at conception
a man opens fire on a politicized pulpit, the pastor maskless and undefended
the charter school principal blinks, astonished and vapid, at the question: how many students receive free lunch?
No such thing as free lunch, he says.
He would know.
The bars are crammed on Sunday afternoons, tipless patrons throw darts in the dark, take shots of hypocrisy disguised as Jagermeister
pronounced perfectly because we’re all still in World War II Germany justifying our own genocides
the man on CNN proclaims that Native Americans have no culture, our heritage a melange of European values
green lawns, shiny plastic from China, fabric from Bangladesh
while senators retire with healthcare, our nation’s social workers receive food stamp benefits
our love of life extending only to those who can afford to sustain it
we roll by intersections, scanning signs but refusing eye contact, pushing buttons in our smart cars, drunk on our own opinions, the waitstaff sweeping the crumbs from our cinnamon rolls and the dregs of our mimosas into the miasma, the sinkhole of complicity, the food trap at the bottom, tugging the legs of our trousers, and we
through the streets, wearing blue, waiting to capture the next brutality on our sweatshop phones
We bear silent witness to these things:
plastic strewn in our waterways
the outdoor thermometer, portending heat
shootings at schools, churches, massage parlors, shipping centers, shopping destinations
the pavement still bloody
the man still whispering, choking
I can’t breathe