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When you wish at the wrong time,
it’s called a negative wish.
Like say you’re a tall guy
staring down from some intermediate clouds
at a digital clock.
You wish for peace or a sweet bicycle,
but fifteen wars just started
in your tiny backyard.
You can hear the rocks eroding back there.
You left your bicycle outside all winter:
it’s covered in moss
like a parade float
designed for atrocious hippies.
Or let’s say you’re dead
and you wish for everybody to be dead.
It would be just like living!
Ethically, this might be reasonable,
but you wish savagely,
your fingers crumbling tea wafers.
The barbed wire drapes,
Like pulling a wishbone
while the animal is still alive,
the abstractions suddenly stiffen,
materialize over bloody hands.
You’re standing in the kitchen,
written in the conditional
concerning what to do with wealth,
a tree we’d all swallow.
There is an electronic bird
you hear through open windows
from all the way downtown.
You’re blind, but it’s okay.
You can walk now.
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Both regulators and employers have embraced new technologies for on-the-job monitoring, turning a blind eye to unjust working conditions.
But I do miss the hymns, / the small, hard apples with their dimpled skin. I do miss / things.
The vast hinterlands of the Global South’s cities are generating new solidarities and ideas of what counts as a life worth living.