There is no right and left,
only up and down.
Stock options are up,
million-dollar pensions, children
in soccer camps, Mexican gardeners,
second homes on a coast, a mountain, the French Riviera,
sipping martinis on patios, in pools, at the club,
behind gates that keep out down.
Kitchens with eight-burner stoves
and restaurant-size refrigerators are up,
gleaming stainless steel retreats that smell
of polish and gleam but nothing you would eat.
In the homes of down, food smells fragrant, saucy,
spicy food that burns into your soul,
leftovers turned into more leftovers,
clothes from Goodwill,
threadbare furniture that cradles children
who've never seen a Hilfiger label.
Up is down.
Money, greed, consumerism, style, the boss,
the Joneses, golf scores, stock prices, frequent flyer miles,
a scratch on the new Benz, taxes, creative bookkeeping,
the mistress, the secret drugs.
Down is up.
Nothing to lose, one way to go,
outrageous colors, second-hand threads,
long hair, colored hair, rings in noses, nipples, clits, and dicks.
Show me yours and I'll show you mine.
Cheap beer, free love, open drugs, comfort food, comfort being
The ups will never know the freedom
of being down. Stay there.
Sheila Velazquez lives and writes in Bozeman, Montana. She can be contacted at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
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