COLLAPSE – F.R. Martinez

[From watching televised reports covering
the February 2023 earthquake in
Turkey/Syria while in federal prison]

Here’s how it is:
buried under tons of earthquake rubble
but still breathing
survival above all, mostly death.

Structures collapse
lives are crushed
cries for help are silenced.

What we have built
will not endure
despite our most earnest intentions,
evangelical and ecclesiastical
the foundations are unsound
riddled with uncertainty and illusion.

Guilt – Shame – Punishment – Recrimination
rewards for a few
scraps for the many.
We can shoot down spy balloons
but can we strengthen the architecture
of our humanity?

There’s plenty of glitz
Plenty of Superbowl money
but these do not cement our union

Collapse may be imminent.
Or maybe
It’s already happened.

From under tons of social debris…
can you hear me?



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