The Influence of Affluence


When the city powers down,
as masses fade into the migration
of mass transit,
you stand atop your glass mountain,
the voluptuous blood-beat of commerce
scrolling across your screens
in the form of stock prices,
with a politician in each pocket
and one on the shelf,
secure in the knowledge -
taken in a hostile acquisition, of course -
that every day brings you further away
from the consequences
of your actions.

No matter what lawyers might say,
your hand shaking mine
at the end of the interview
is a conspiracy
of fifty-four bones,
bound by your rules
in which I am empowered
to serve your needs in perpetuity,
allowed to pay for my education
that establishes enough debt
to induct me to service,
ensuring I’ll never leave on my own,
allowed to punch a clock
so you might track
a third of my life’s allotted hours,
while granting me
a meager existence
without the pension you plundered,
or the retirement by the sea
that you promised.

I am afraid of YOU, of course,
because I do not understand you,
your behavior as different
from my own
as diamonds are to ducks.
Still, I would give a chunk of my heart
to be one of you –
the 1%, the golden children
who never have to ask
how much it costs,
the money-bright men
who stand above
the rest of us.

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