Monday, November 3, 2008

Parched Lips

He rests emaciated arms
from shooing flies buzzing
near his face, crawling
across parched lips. Wide-eyed
expectation begs for so much -
really, very little to drivers
whose cars suck
the water and food
right off the earth.
Recreational golfers turn blind
eyes to everything but shooting
par for the course, while fountains
evaporate in Las Vegas
through an abracadabra
wink as Copperfield says,
"Presto," and water
morphs into the almighty
American dollar. A TV
flickers with images,
Madonnas and Jolies
whisking a child or two
away from everyone's
starving mother:
umbilical Africa. Even
Bonos and Geldofs
tell us to send the almighty
American dollar
to relief funds.
But the wide-eyed pleas
will not grant absolution
to overweight motorists
who drain drop after drop
from Lake Victoria and Lake Tanganyika
while they idle in drive-thrus
for another burger and fries.
The flies continue to crawl
across the parched lips
and into moist eyes, multiplying
with each additional car
started, driven and idled.
Take another trip
to the corner convenience
market, buy only a pack
of cigarettes or six-pack
of beer, adding to your obesity.
Then, blame oil companies
and car manufacturers.
The child sees you
grant absolution to yourself
as you tee up yet again
and idle in another drive-thru.
Every additional almighty
dollar sent to the child
evaporates another drop
of drinking water
and morsel of food.
The child cries in muted tones,
"Will you awaken
from dreams of bank account
balances, dates with boyfriends,
and the best sex in your life
long enough to save mine?"

This is an edited version of the poem which was originally published by edifice WRECKED in their October 2007 issue. This was my first poem published. A link to the archived publication is provided on the right hand column.

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