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Waiting to Happen.

   The bottom of the town might open up
   on influenza. Or everybody on the planet
   finds a lump. Some man might plan
   even now some foreign words to live
   in the future's memory -- as Kristallnacht
   takes up space in ours. Saint
   Bartholomew's Day Massacre. Bubonic
   Plague. Consider now the length
   of good times we've indulged in,
   consider the bliss of sullen bus rides,
   consider the paradise of trouble on the job,
   the incommensurable dream of sexual
   frustration, the joy of being mad and unfulfilled,
   the glory of a night alone, lonely,
   watching sitcoms; left out of the world.

   On the other hand, this may be remembered
   as the dawn of the golden age, wherein
   after five millennia of disaster followed
   on disaster, forever after no disaster comes.
   Then this loneliness will never be redeemed.
   If we never starve this bread will never seem
   in hindsight to have been a feast of pleasure
   is part of what I mean. But look at the books.
   Consider the odds. We will very likely starve.

Jennifer Michael Hecht's poetry has appeared in Best American Poetry 1999, Poetry, The Partisan Review, The Southern Review, The Gettysburg Review, Missouri Review, and Denver Quarterly. Her first collection, The Next Ancient World, is published with Tupelo Press.

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Author:Hecht, Jennifer Michael
Publication:Prairie Schooner
Article Type:Poem
Date:Jun 22, 2001
Words:209
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