& this real tragedy is used to build another narrative,
spun around, remembered until all that’s left are the dead
& this historic town recalling the memories of their memories
So many times that the real horror is bleached out.
No one buys optional insurance.
& we’ve all been trying to divine some kind of meaning in the oncoming destruction, &
searching for reincarnation metaphors in trash left on the sides of farm roads, like:
Despite the new rules, coors light cans still bloom in our dirt ditches…
ha ha—we’re sorry, no,
Some things change so slowly it’s like they stay the same.
The tar filling the potholes is soft during daylight.
When we step on it our sneakers sink in,
but the evenings are mostly cool enough to crack the windows and let the screams of the cicadas
drift in on the wind.
There’s no sadness, see?
Meanwhile, over the screaming—
It’s summer so the sirens must be a drill.
Carmen E. Brady lives in the rural Midwestern US. She is the author of the chapbook Eating Alone at Chipotle (Bottlecap press 2015) and the author and illustrator of the full-length Someday I’m Going to Be So So Happy (2fast2hause 2017). She tweets at @therealcbrad.