Sometimes it takes an earthquake
to turn the world upside down,
other times,
a chain of ragged men,
wed to false nostalgia–
the obedient true believers and the deranged
crack the engines of progress, flatten tires,
apply the brakes

till the cracks widen and inequality grows,
it is simple arithmetic,

the slippery slope of beneficial deals,
the ahistorical fiction fed to a leader
and his brethren,
unfulfilled dreams—

there is no utopia.

In the aftermath, the masks slip
the enchantment vanishes,
the prince is a cockeyed monster, not dashing,
the wishes are merely that—
the men are still ragged, still waiting,
their countries shattered

ancient wishes spray the sky like clouds

and vanish.

I don’t typically write such political poems, but the random words that Jane generated—Oracle II—demanded it.