Rough, rough week. Children torn from their parents at borders, the suicides of loved people who projected happiness, the cruelty of our elected employees and the ongoing and unfathomable cowardice of their minions who stand by, watching our democracy crumble. Last night I scrolled through poem after poem, looking for one with clear eyes and a level gaze, like this one below. A poem that sees the situation for what it is and imagines it as it can be. Time for us to be the goddesses who remake this world.
The End of Science Fiction
– Lisel Mueller
This is not fantasy, this is our life.
We are the characters
who have invaded the moon,
who cannot stop their computers.
We are the gods who can unmake
the world in seven days.
Both hands are stopped at noon.
We are beginning to live forever,
in lightweight, aluminum bodies
with numbers stamped on our backs.
We dial our words like Muzak.
We hear each other through water.
The genre is dead. Invent something new.
Invent a man and a woman
naked in a garden,
invent a child that will save the world,
a man who carries his father
out of a burning city.
Invent a spool of thread
that leads a hero to safety,
invent an island on which he abandons
the woman who saved his life
with no loss of sleep over his betrayal.
Invent us as we were
before our bodies glittered
and we stopped bleeding:
invent a shepherd who kills a giant,
a girl who grows into a tree,
a woman who refuses to turn
her back on the past and is changed to salt,
a boy who steals his brother’s birthright
and becomes the head of a nation.
Invent real tears, hard love,
slow-spoken, ancient words,
difficult as a child’s
first steps across a room.
For more information about Lisel Mueller, please click here.