Bookstore Poem #153. Second Coming

Third Place Books, Lake Forest Park. A bit of an experiment. I’m not sure how well it works, but then I didn’t even finish my first attempt…

Earlier today
I tried to imagine
what the Second Coming
were it to happen
might really look like

I didn’t get very far
so I erased the page

I probably started out wrong
trying to imagine
how it would unfold
rather than describing it as is

I don’t think it would be
the apocalypse
Judgement Day
the End of Days
the Rapture
or anything so dramatic
or violent

I think that God would
put the entire planet to sleep
for a day or two—
sort of an extended night—
and we would wake up
to find everything
completely different

I think this could happen
in a couple of different ways

The First Scenario
We wake up transformed
all of the major problems
we faced as a society
vanished—gone—never existed

There were never ever
any such things as

war
torture
genocide
slavery
racism
imperialism
totalitarianism
despots
detractors
discrimination
epidemics
famines
superstitions
animal cruelty
homelessness
addiction
gambling
deforestation
overpopulation
intolerance
injustice
weapons
murder
rape
harassment
child abuse
sexual abuse
domestic violence
random violence
poverty
hunger
pollution
serial killers
schizophrenia
cancer
Alzheimer’s
AIDS
mass killings
the arms race
the death penalty
the Holocaust
political prisoners
the military-industrial complex
the school-to-prison pipeline

We have no conception
of any of these things—
not even in fiction

It would never occur to us
to treat anyone
or anything
with anything less
than kindness and respect

The Second Scenario
We wake up
to the world
as we know it now
but we are different

We look around
at all these things
with shock and disbelief
wondering how we could have done
these things to each other
and ourselves

And we act

No arguments
no excuses
no polls or surveys
no studies
no impact statements
no debates
no stalling of any kind

We act

We get rid of

war
torture
genocide
slavery
racism
imperialism
totalitarianism
despots
detractors
discrimination
epidemics
famines
superstitions
animal cruelty
homelessness
addiction
gambling
deforestation
overpopulation
intolerance
injustice
weapons
murder
rape
harassment
child abuse
sexual abuse
domestic violence
random violence
poverty
hunger
pollution
serial killers
schizophrenia
cancer
Alzheimer’s
AIDS
mass killings
the arms race
the death penalty
the Holocaust
political prisoners
the military-industrial complex
the school-to-prison pipeline

We don’t spend time and energy
analyzing why
we allowed all of these things
to happen

We simply act

Being human, we still have
our minor problems
and daily ups and downs
but we have corrected
our collective path

A Third Coming
will not be necessary

(25 February 2018)