Sunday, October 6, 2019


Spilled drink
I watched Kurt Vonnegut
Say in a Charlie Rose interview
Shortly before he died
That people are awful animals
That after two World Wars
The Holocaust
The bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki
The Roman Games
The Spanish Inquisition
The burning of witches in public
That we’re a disease
We should be ashamed of ourselves
“Shouldn’t we call it off?” Vonnegut said
I thought about my mother and father—
Good people,
Flaws drowned by their love
I thought about my uncle,
An alcoholic and a cynic
Who’d die for his children
I wondered about myself,
Maybe we’re not that bad
Maybe we’ll turn things around
At the table in front of me
A man dropped his drink,
Spilled on his wife’s feet
“I can’t believe you,” his wife shouted
“You wasted a good drink
“And now my feet are cold”
Her husband said nothing, smirked
She slapped him on the shoulder
Their baby cried
“Now look what you’ve done,” his wife accused
He no longer smirked
Another day, I might’ve intervened
Said, “Hey, be easy, things aren’t that bad”
But in that haunted moment
I remembered their battle was never mine 

-- Alex Z. Salinas

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