Tuesday, September 1, 2020


Setting aside that song 
of John Lennon's, 
let's imagine (for a second)
there is a heaven—
one hundred and seven 
billion individuals: 
blissful, well fed, 
well met, and well protected; 
no crying at parties or 
sexual tension;
no one undervalued or 
starved for affection;
none struggling 
to thrust spears 
tipped with pressure-
heated viewpoints
against the pallid weak flesh 
of ignorance, nonchalance, 
hate, and discrimination;
no misanthropes striving 
against existential 
doubt or cultural oppression 
to create meaning 
for themselves or inflame 
their generation. Go ahead,
imagine it. I wonder
if you can 
without feeling upon 
your lips and your hands 
the cold kisses 
and limp handshakes—
without seeing and hearing
tasting and smelling
all the beige paintings 
and slow boneless dances, 
the bland food and sad flat 
champagne in glasses, 
all the tuneless
songs they'd be playing, 
and the pages and pages 
of flowerless, moonless,
childless, useless 
poems about amity 
you would get.