Progress turns in reverse, western civilization
unraveling the grand romance of its words.
Little Boy and Fat Man slurp skyward
into the cavity of each B-29.
Sooty women and children backpedal
through factory gates as the sun
dips in the east. Fifty million Africans,
chained in two-by-six racks
beneath the deck,
retreat across the Atlantic. Arawaks
backstroke from the strange boat.
Look as the strawberry shrivels
from your lotioned hand,
withdrawing to the vine
to be plucked by a hunched laborer.
Privilege is a musty cologne, no?
It’s a wonder how so many
haven’t noticed the calendar
transposing its months: December
to November, November to October,
October to the celebration
of a New World begun by genocide.
Every grave dug can be covered
by the victor’s dirt. History can,
with the necessary tunnel vision,
be okay with itself.