The Vigorish

by January 27, 2023 0 comments

We should have a better way of branding
all those things
we find significant and troubling
things that shout to be
recognized
insurrections
plagues
beheadings
ethnic cleansing
the emotional toll overwhelms us
why not think of these things in terms of
analogy
so they don’t look so bad, maybe just call them
maintenance or overhead or CAP X
since they are a portion of us
but not the whole

We don’t like reliving
pandemics
forests scared stiff by lightning and power lines
tidal waves brutalizing our coasts
glaciers de-icing
flotsam from the Ganges the Yangtze the Irrawaddy
the Rio Grande
choking our seas into submission
why not simplify things and
call it the interest come due?

We have better things to do than choke
back tears at what we see
let us apply a mathematical model or
algorithm to what dismays us
since this fraction is so small
a pittance on that ticket to Ravinia
or Fenway Park or Cedar Fair or Orlando
a surtax at the toll booth the box office the gate
where we wait all breathless
for the show to start
all it is is us getting tithed
for our presence here
a service charge
call me lazy or distracted
but I’m getting tired of being reminded that
all these things will not just go away
these mass shootings the third-world skin auction
assault rifles with detachable box magazines
all of which
statistically speaking occupy
a razor-thin measure of our attention
isn’t there a word to lump them all into one
as stuff we have just learned to live with?
there must be

editors note:

Oh, my word! – mh clay

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