Flour

Today I bought organic flour

not for the good of the earth

but because I want pancakes —

pancakes and brownies and

peanut butter cookies — and,

there is not a spoonful of flour

to be had, except for the expensive,

kind-to-the-planet variety.

So with the privilege of a credit card

and money in the bank,

I bought organic flour today.

 

The whole country is baking bread

as though it will help to stave off

the virus. The whole nation’s rising up

making yeast from potatoes

(which I also bought, and not just

to help the farmers,

who are apparently drowning in them),

The whole world’s starting

sour dough starter, bubbling

almost patriotically on our counters.

but really it’s just a “we’re all in this together” meme

on Facebook,— or even a competition

(best looking, crustiest sour dough loaf!) —

except for those

who can’t afford

flour at $5 a kilo

who can’t afford

Internet, who can’t

afford to be all in this together.

 

If only our kitchen ferment

bubbled out on to the streets.

If only the whole world would rise up

like a loaf of bread and demand justice

for those whose mouths have not

tasted it their whole lives.

America’s Sickheart

Give me your tired, your poor, Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, The wretched refuse of your teeming shore, Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me, I lift my lamp beside the golden door!” Emma Lazarus

Your guest have arrived
but you’re less than delighted
these aren’t the ones you thought
you’d invited

You’re fuming i know
as you walk down the hall
still you’re smiling and trying
to swallow it all

It’s fondu tonight
(this great melting pot
a fountain of chocolate
volcanic and hot

Where your tired, your poor
your huddled masses
are fed like cake
to the wealthy classes)

You yearn to breathe free
but your bleached blond smile
is glued to your face like a
bathroom tile

The wretched refuse of their teeming shore
aren’t the ones you expected outside your door
crying for toothpaste, healthcare and justice
from cages you locked, under ICE auspices

America’s Sickheart,
The homeless knock to come in
but the word on the street
is “no room at the inn”
No room on the bench
no room on the curb
Your welcome mat’s flip side
Says “Do not disturb”

The lamp you lift up
gives no light to the lost.
Its to rout out illegals,
those tempest-tost
in storm-torn lands where
the winds are man-made.
Your golden door’s barred
to the poor and afraid.

America’s Sickheart,
you’re ready to banquet.
Your table your guest list
Your guard dog’s all set.
You called 911 on the brown kid who cried
for his mother and father, somewhere outside,
while he curls on the concrete
hungry and cold
for your friends to ignore
or berate if they’re bold

So swallow your courage,
your lies and dissenters—
an aperatifs normal
when your court one percenters.

So welcome, welcome
to your big dinner bash
those whose skin’s clearly white
whose breath smells like cash,
who turn with such grace
and loosen their ties
to the rest of humanity
while their own, simply dies.