In the news about deportations to countries less worthy
I heard a chance remark
keywords: poverty, extreme
a rhetorical question of how one might fare if given the boot
after living so long in the Promised Land
to go from so much to so very little
Yes, yes, it’s true: newsroom pencils break along fault lines
like pencils everywhere, those in my desk drawer
are not immune, the disinclination to connect all the dots,
it’s a tool of survival, yours, mine, and theirs.
First rule of dysfunction: don’t see the dysfunction.
And yet, and yet, how hard you must work to not see.
All along the back roads of eastern Kentucky, through Tennessee
hollers, past the shorn mountaintops of West Virginia, north
to the future of rust belt ghostwalks, these inglorious ruins
of hollowed-out empire
Keywords: poverty, extreme
Drive at your own risk, fill your tank at the Quik-Mart,
grab a donut like a local, walk the boarded up Main Street,
sugar-fueled, past the queue of shabby coats and unshaven faces
waiting outside the door of the plasma center,
random dots, haphazard humans,
your pocketed notepad, your unsharpened pencil,
the rule of the unseeing eye.