To Whom it May Concern

February 26, 2008
By Christine Thrasher, Irvine, CA

To Whom It May Concern:

You have a disease.
You are constantly making love
to the pavement. I'm starting
to wonder about your sanity.

Your skyscrapers have been eating my horizons
like slugs in a cabbage patch. I can't afford
to lose my primary source
of inspiration (though I'm starting to
think you mean to deprive me of inspiration,
once and for all). I'd ask you for a reimbursement,
but are no substitutes
for my beloved Pleiades who swim lost
in the floodlights of your
shopping malls, supermarkets, and football
each vomiting their obscene
glare into my fragile atmosphere.

What am I to do?
You keep inventing new ways to make me
dissatisfied: you talk about growth and prosperity and the GDP.
You hold panels and discussions and debates and lectures.
You get college degrees in trying to incite my desire for more.
You are good at what you do. I've been addicted to
plastic since I was five. My eye sometimes twitches.
My stomach feels hollow. I find it difficult
to be happy. I suspect I've contracted a
terminal disease. Maybe it's because
you keep inventing new ways
to kill me.

Listen to me:
My cousins are hungry.
They walk for miles in the heat
with crates upon their backs containing
bottles of Coca Cola, packages of processed
corn snacks, from the market. Their feet
are bare and covered with blisters.
Constellations of mosquito bites
refract across their body.
At night they come home and
cast their hopes and dreams
upon a dirt floor.
You never think of them, but they always think of you.
They speak of you fondly.

I've tried to tell you about my little
cousins across the seas. But the
noise of your television set
drowns me out.

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