Bright and Shining Future
My daughter is the scent of a bright and shining future. I bury my face in her hair.
But there’s already decay—
Everything is fuck, now. The planet. The virus. Democracy. Fuck.
My future is fucked, she says. We are in the past tense &
people need to shut up.
She wanted a world where other kids didn’t talk shit
about her lesbian grandmothers going to hell
or how she should be deported though she was born in the same hospital
they were. My daughter is
perplexed that people
don’t mind being stupid and can say “I have my own facts” with straight
My Future was fucked too.
My seventh grade on the airbase in Germany and Reagan threatening nukes
and Jason Robard stumbling through burnt out
streets of nuclear snow,
talking to a cockroach.
Helicopters whirled in the early hours before dawn bringing in Marines bombed out in Lebanon.
Our air based bombed too, mushroom cloud over airstrip.
My world shook like an unending
earthquake. No ducking, no covering.
High school quarterback’s fingers reaching into me. Holding me down. Slumped behind my bedroom door. Fumble. Replay.
It’s all in and over our heads:
our futures are always already over.
What’s the point in homework when the world is coming to an end?
What’s the point in waiting for the right time?
We’ve already walked through the apocalypse,
grit and grime in our dusty wind blown hair.
What was the point in eating healthy?
We breathe burning forests into our lungs. She holds on to me,
I hold her there by my side. Breathing in each other’s hair;
the scent of a bright and shining future.
Everything in this moment is still.
Still and good.
I smile at my baby girl who is not a baby girl.
This is all we have.