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Just another day in hyper-capitalist society—

in my Facebook feed, news of rabbits and

chickens tortured on meat farms, but I’m still not

vegan and I’m waiting to die myself

from cancer I may have gotten from soil or groundwater

contaminated by nuclear weapons, and no amount

of posting uplifting stories is going to fix that.

And lord, let them cease trying to control women’s

bodies, people’s genders, people’s desires,

let them stop hating people because of their color

and ethnicities. I want to shake the bigots and racists

till their teeth rattle loose and they lose their bite,

till their tongues swell up in their mouths

and they’re stricken mute. I want to save

all the slaughtered animals, save the seas and their

inhabitants—whales, birds, the tiniest bivalves—

from choking on plastic. I want to purify the air

of sulfur and carbon dioxide, scrape the lead

from plumbing pipes, god I need to do something

besides dying, besides thinking about death

and the neofascist politicians who lead

a nation of people unable to think critically

after 40 years’ systemic dismantling

of the education system by the rich

so their lackeys can make it

illegal to prosecute corporations for poisoning

the air, earth, water—and Jesus, isn’t it

a kind of mental illness

annihilating what you need to stay alive

for the accumulation of blind profit—

and in the process killing and killing and

murdering me, along with the people and animals

I can’t save but want to, with all my goddamn

fucking heart, but instead I’m waiting

to die, trying to find some last meaning in all

of this. A warning, perhaps. You’re next.

from Angel BonesFind more by Ilyse Kusnetz at the library

Copyright © 2019 Ilyse Kusnetz
Used with the permission of The Permissions Company, LLC on behalf of Alice James Books.

Published in Ilyse Kusnetz Poems

This program is supported in part by a grant from the Idaho Humanities Council, a State-based program of the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Any views, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this (publication, website, exhibit, etc.) do not necessarily represent those of the Idaho Humanities Council or the National Endowment for the Humanities.