Automatic Changer

We used to stand in lines for bread,
now we stand in them for cupcakes.
In between, noticing a defect in the sky,
we invented music, which fixed it, then birds,
which broke it again. The minute you draw
yourself a head, somebody crosses it out.
The lights of our toy city wink off for a second
and we overshoot the runway by a year—
this is how we get from one event to another,
beleaguered and spooked by the hubris of planes,
the lines they leave on the sky blooming
behind us into aberrant clouds. Not enough rain
had fallen for longer than anyone could measure,
and we were so distracted with trying to catch
whoever had pushed the fuses back into the bombs
that we forgot how to dig a well.
When winter came we burned up
all the looking. Listening went next onto the fire.
If spending your time decorating a culture
that doesn't pay you for doing it is a political act,
I'm going out on a limb and saying so
is sleeping until noon, and that from now on
when you write a story about the body,
you have to include the name of every part,
from mitochondria to mind. We like to be right,
even when it's awful, and pride ourselves on confusing
language with the font. The minute you grow
wings, somebody comes and chops them off.
The Anxiety of Coincidence
Mark Bibbins

The Anxiety of Coincidence

Mark Bibbins

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