The morning my elected representative trades
nuke threats with North Korea, I
drink less coffee—in a nuclear winter scenario
coffee might not be available.
When I was a kid, my mom had a surgery
and had to quit cold turkey.
She survived only with headaches and nausea
for a month solid and I’m so dependent
crippled by withdrawal
how will I manage to scour the wastelands
for any sign of life?
So it’s two cups only
and all afternoon I stare at sparks
reeling around a red
maple on 10th avenue
like sparrows around a
scorched head. My mind slips up
into the jet stream & blazes
a contrail across the map of the planet until
I’m hovering over the streets of Pyongyang where
my enemies dressed all in gray and brown
frown and shake their fists at the sky.
Beaten dogs whimper.
Ball-gagged women writhe in the gutter.
Infants twitch at the buzz of their shock collars.
One citizen jaywalks and
officers with approved haircuts immediately
incinerate him with flamethrowers.
Right? No? Someone
stands at a sink in despair?
Hears sparrow song in his maple and
imagining great sufferingdenies himself a cup?