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wish upon planes

This poem started as a critique of beauty and art lost to industrialization and became… something else.


In cities,
We wish upon planes,
In the absence of
Shooting stars,
Exiled in the age of child labor and fabric mills and a million lights that promised
American Dreams over the screams of those
Who fled starvation to find starvation.

Hopes whispered toward stars,
Caught on the bellies of industry
Moving men, women, children
Spoken in order of importance.
Moving machinery and armory,
To build cities or burn cities or disintegrate skin in
Fire so hot it can’t be seen.
Prayers cling to wings of steel guardian angels or
Angels of death.
Demons, too, were angels once.

Please bring daddy home.
Please give mommy a smile.
Please make me stronger.
Please please please please.

Fingers pressed flat,
Nose pressed to fingers,
A child begs.
Beasts of the sky carry tear-stained pleas
Across the sea
To bases or airports or ships,
To be scoured in security,
Lost under the scrutiny
That protects
LIFE & LIBERTY &
THE PURSUIT OF HAPPINESS


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