This is your future. Amazon delivers your toilet paper
via a dozen robots disguised as robins.
Verizon has a great network supported by antennas
built into our heads. And recently, Google has pioneered
new usage-tracking software so potent that
after a mere six weeks of gestation, it can anticipate
the kind of browser you’ll be when you’re thirty. I’m sorry,
I wanted to write something dystopian, one of those
corporations-become-all type things, but those narratives tire me, and really,
I’m an optimist to a fault. If I see a chipmunk
stumbling around in my building’s parking lot, I convince myself
it’s newborn and green, despite it being mid-December.
If the plane I’m on starts to dip and shake,
I imagine the pilot and co-pilot just want us to feel
like we’re kids on a rollercoaster for the first time.
But despite my tendencies, it’s Christmas,
and though I wish dearly that I could, I cannot agree
with the meteorologist who describes the 60-degree day as
a gift. I know it’s their job to be amicable, be wizards
of delivering bad news, but just then I could scream for want
of authenticity. Equally devastating, this year NPR reported that here
in North America, we’ve lost three billion members of our bird population, most of them
from the finch and sparrow families, among others. Though I know the real, sad answer,
I can’t help but wonder whether I’ve seen three billion birds in my lifetime,
and if not, how many birds per year it would take to get there.
Could I count the dead ones? The eggs that never hatch? Would I be better off
moving as much as possible, or standing still? Will one of the finches I see be the last?
Would that also be a gift? Or something even sadder?
A. Prevett is a human from Atlanta. Their poetry and prose have been featured in such journals as Sixth Finch, Puerto del Sol, Redivider, Hobart, Cherry Tree, Sycamore Review, and others. Currently, they are pursuing an MFA in poetry from Georgia State University, where they serve as editor-in-chief of New South. You can find them on twitter (@a_prevett) or on their website, aprevett.com.
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