Punishment

Unshipment
is anagram for punishment— 
            meaning the package 
sent overseas never arrived,
every square inch filled with made-
or-bought-in-the-USA goods; meaning
the smells of 100% 
                 percale, clothing
from outlet stores & discount 
racks, shampoo & instant coffee 
                 pilfered or stolen
& never declared. & after
all that, you are considered
     the selfish one, the one
who forgot her roots in coming
to this 
      America that everyone still
thinks is the land of plenty,
where everyone eats 
the food 
        of the gods 
& is never on welfare or coming out 
of a bankruptcy.

*

Isn't it peculiar
how the gods always interfere 
     with human affairs: 
                      jealousy & lust,
chasing after maidens in a Looney 
Tunes universe where they 
      turn into showers
of gold or bulls or swans— 
                        Ten humps in,
the appetite fires up again, restless
for the next conquest. Meanwhile the girl
is rooted to the spot or turned 
into a lowly creature hanging 
                       by her own
thread. 
     Net, hum, spin— & it is
a woman as well that's blamed
    for lifting the lid of the box: without
        a sound, a cloud of ailments
rises into the world & circles
every outpost. One last thing lies
    pent, hums in 
             the dark bottom— there
it is but you don't want to be 
                       the one to call it hope.




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