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Eden, by Caitlin Johnstone

We hand each new baby a briefcase and a gun
and say,
“This is how it is. Deal with it.”

We tell them the lies our parents taught us,
then send them off to war in the City
where they get old and get mortgages
until they decay on their deathbeds
surrounded by acquaintances
who tell stories like,
“He built a tall tower on the east end of the City,”
or
“She wrote about clothes for a magazine.”

When what we should do
(and I will scream this until my final breath)
is ask the baby,
“Well, what do you reckon is going on?
What’s it like in there, baby,
before you’ve been filled with lies,
before you’ve been adopted by bosses and a pill-popping spouse,
before we’ve painted you with oil and sold you to Amazon?
How do you look at the world with such wonder?
How do you delight in my face
when you have seen it so many times before?
How can we play again
like you play, baby?
How can we get back
to the place when the world was enthralling
and all we knew was love
before we got captured by gargoyles in the City?
Before we found ourselves clinging to screens like a life raft,
before our vision turned into gray pixels?”

What does the baby see from its cradle?
What does the space between our thoughts think about all this?
Show me your eyes as they were when they first opened
and I will walk with you back to Eden.

_______

Written by

I write about the end of illusions.

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