Everything and Nothing: A Post-Election Poem


 

We are here and not here.

We have never been one country, only the experimental idea of one.

We have socially constructed our ideas of identity and constructed mostly isolated lives.

We are segregated in ways that combine race, class, and hope.

We are hopelessly addicted to myths.

We are cracked glass fragments of possibility within a rickety frame.

We select only what we want of our past, and refuse to acknowledge all that we don’t know.

We live with a sense of dislocation and fear about the changes we cannot control.

We paint our futures with only shadows and light.

We are forever polluting the present with fear and anxiety.

We are not we, but only a collection of me, me, and me.

We share everything and nothing.

We believe everything we want to believe.

We worship disruption, without a collective vision of how to reassemble the shards.

We love escape.

We binge on escape.

We forget what time it is.

We find new ways of self-medication.

We do not own our mistakes.

We refuse to judge our friends for fear of losing them, and prefer to laugh at those who are not.

We refuse to be shocked until we are shocked out of our complacency.

Even after the stunned moment, we attempt to rationalize the shock, to close the drawer of despair, instead of digging hope out of the rubble.

For flickering moments in the last decade, we say we want real change.

But few of us will fight for it.

We will only fight against.

We refuse to fight for.

We share everything and nothing.

We have turned up the noise, and lost all signal.

We have stopped talking to each other.

Why are we surprised most have forgotten how to listen?

We are told to keep an open mind to this wrecking ball as it heads straight toward us.

Take cover and protect each other.

And then prepare to rebuild.

This ongoing experiment.

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