Greetings from the next life

“Greetings from my next life in which I am a professional 
Pokémon player.” - Matthew Salesses, 
10 July 2020, Twitter @salesses

Do you ever wonder about the boy
      who fell into the gorilla pit 
at the Brookfield Zoo in 1996,
      and was picked up and cradled by 
the female gorilla Binti Jua?
      The unnamed boy spent four days 
in the hospital with injuries to his face
      and head, but none of the newspaper 
articles suggest that he didn't survive.
      He must be in his 20s now: past the legal 
age to drink, to vote for the first time. 
      Did he spend most afternoons of his youth 
at the library, reading through the stacks 
      but avoiding the shelves of National 
Geographic and Field & Stream?  
      Does he have an adventurous side,
one that admires the Turkish 
      paraglider who rigged a whole 
living room set— red upholstered 
      couch, side table with lamp, TV 
stand— so he could sail over the sea
      at Ölüdeniz while clicking the remote
and eating a bag of chips? Some of us
      take a wrong turn in an unfamiliar town 
or get into some stupid scrape like 
      shoplifting mascara at the drugstore.
Some of us, trying to outrun a red
      light, won't see the semi coming. 
Meanwhile in another country, children  
      just walking home from school get caught 
in the violent crossfire in the war on drugs—
      which proves that the real animals
are never the ones in a cage. In such cases, 
      when the identity of the killer is unknown,
the family puts a yellow chick and some grain 
      on the coffin's glass so it might peck 
at the conscience of the guilty one. I want them
      to shed copious tears on the casket,
to make the spirit return soon for vengeance.

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