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Poetry

Let Me Tell You a Cosmic Joke

Adam InTae Gerard

so there’s this guy with two shopping bags. and he walks in front of this tank.
as if the great eye of god or history were an engine of simple destruction.
of social change roaring for more. and this armored goliath shifts gears
from crowding peasants to eating students. cracking small bones
while affixing an iron gaze through him. and the poorly fed peasants
stand nervously clicking their empty teeth. so they spit and salute. 
they know better than anyone: to champion a flag
means to kick-in somebody’s teeth.

so there’s this guy with two shopping bags. and his feet have wings.
and he walks in front of this national icon. which has come to resemble a gun.
and his feet can fly. because his bags are light as air. because his bags are not empty.  because they are filled with the insistence of possibility. and the gun is smiling with gaps.  in shooting down winged messengers will we all wear hot lead and scraps?

so there’s this guy with two small hands. and one big idea. it’s this joke that everyone’s heard already. he stretches his hands out wide. as if to take in all the suffering of the world. an idea who understands what it means to be human for just a few short breaths. and you are laughing and crying. and laughing and crying. as if you too had wings. as if you too were kneeling. as if something had just reached down and patted you softly on your back and said
I’m sorry. I’m so sorry
we fucked everything up.

and you are praying that this guy just gets to go home.
somewhere far beyond the rage of mechanical utopias.
and then he looks up
his tired eyes seeing
only armies of muck.
and then he looks up.
there were trashcans
overflowing
with flowers.

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