I live in DC. When I first moved here, I took a bus every morning that rode me past the White House, down the mall, and across the river, all typically before the sun painted these in the pleasant hues that inspire patriotism for buildings and monuments constructed in architecture paying homage to a fallen empire. At this hour, policy makers jog leisurely past benches where sleeping blanket heaps will be chased to a less tourist-focused park. At this hour, in the winter, leathery hands drag on bags that reek of humanity’s proof as soon as buses begin to blink awake and crawl through the city, so they can have some warmth for a minute, disgusting the suits and thermoses that find standing room only. They will ride in quiet disgust past vacant homes on their way into new office buildings eschewing the three story businesses gasping between them with the city’s “before” story. Both the suits and bags will get out here and begin their day’s work, the former from a dungeon overlooking soon bustling streets, and the latter keeping tempo of the future to which they bustle.
From the comforts of my wheezing chariot,
I survey my kingdom and the residents of her fortress:
They scurry and scamper the city
As the princely rats do at night.
In glittering brands and bright taglines
denoting their allegiances to their place amongst the caste –
Hugo, North Face, Warby Parker,
Making deliveries for their lordships
– sires like Starbucks and Panera –
From shoppe to transport bins
That build the castles of these lords
In far away places, even new islands on the sea.
From my throne under the singing marquee,
Which subdues most of the population with images of beauty unlike themselves,
I watch them create check in for the overseers of Apple and Google,
Taking self portraits and documenting their meals and
Counting steps with mildly attractive rubber shackles
To prove they are being productive, happy contributors to society,
Having fun within the lines of recommended doses and appropriate exposure
to only the approved carcinogens.
Though I seek less in taxation from my subjects
Than the stone grey monsters off the Mall –
Go down a few blocks and take the chariot marked 74 south –
Frenzied judgments made snaply on my
Liberty of housing and overlord has made them bitter toward this queen,
So I bleed into the news about the highest paid pros
Escaping convictions for which my brother was stolen ten years and voting rights
And bathe amongst coins cast for wishes
Half of the castees won’t see through
Because they have social media check points that require clearance
Before they are allowed to chase their desires
(Their societies will not approve)
So I pick up the coins and bless you in return with this bit of wisdom:
The world is ending.