And Then

We were living inside
           one unending elegy—
tunnel beaded with concertina
            wire, spattered with 
graffiti: with words like worker 
            for slave, involuntary
relocation for slavery,
            pacification for war.
Controlled intake, 
            recalibrate: the long 
arms of disinformation 
            reached with stump-
bristled brushes,  
            relentless battering, 
a bent to normalize  
            the condition of wounding. 
Ceilings still hummed
            with the echo of machines
from a million T-shirt 
           and gym shoe factories 
around the world, with live
           looping reels of caged
animals eating cutely
           from our hands. 
Ditches filled with oil-
           slicked birds. Sadly,  
we participated. And so 
          what was coming 
had mostly come. This is 
          what happened. We 
were so sure 
          we could see it coming
until we couldn't. 
          It all happened so fast.

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