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To the Future

To the Future (response to the Futurists)

What I mean when I say anything

Is that, in a desert, you need

Water and a compass. To forget this

Is to become suicidal.

When I look at you, I see your skin

With its constellation of moles

And the train-wreck galaxy of eczema

And this is at least part of what defines you

As a “person.” I’m sorry. Without your border

Of skin, you would not be a subject

But a skinless corpse. I apologize again

Because I am no postmodern woman—

I have been told to be otherwise is to be the victim

Of a historical mistake.

I have been fooled by this body

And its insistences, its constant nagging

And miracles.

What I mean when I say anything

Is that I have my ration of truth, or naivete

Or passeism, and I have more, even

More than I need. And I am in a city

That is starving for lack of money

And not of food—and here—

Have some—

What I mean when I say anything

Is that I mean. In this particular desert,

To forget suicide, to embrace an apologetic skin,

Embarrassingly old-fashioned,

The miracle of femininity and sentiment

Nothing like a car riding on grapeshot.

Just a hundred suns of chemical joy

Pumping through our softly-fortified

Animal cells, this life, this glory.


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