A Poem for the Day after Tomorrow
By D. Colin
Gaslighting by definition is
to manipulate someone into questioning their own sanity
so please note, when this is all over, they will frost up their flaky agendas & say they're
As a matter of fact
they will say it is the greatest it has ever been. They will make it a campaign commercial &
show it at the next White House briefing.
When this is all over
they will tell you again that America runs on Dunkin'
but you let them know
that America stopped running to learn how to walk again,
that walking is nice too—
that we can still slow down to see each other's face more clearly
& if you want get real
remind them that America ran on the mighty dollar's
fist pounding into the belly of America,
that it prioritized productivity over mental health & wall street over teachers & maybe this time
it can, put simply, not do that.
They will say Look, America, no cavities!
while we are still trying to fill the holes.
They will try to fool you into believing they saved America Tell them it was the essential workers
to show up for work, to clean the nursing homes,
to ring us out at the grocery store, to pile up the bodies. Tell them it was the bodega, the
restaurants still open to feed us, the hospitals at capacity.
Tell them it was the art that spilled from our mouths & our hands to sustain our collective hope—
tell them it was Rihanna redistributing her wealth, tell them it was the teachers who wore PJs
to their Zoom classroom because even corona couldn't take spirit week away.
Tell them it was the people for the people
by the people
When this is all over they will tell you again
a diamond is forever
but you will still know the
fragility of the body & how fleeting or suspended time can be
& what is a diamond but a rock people die for— when they say a diamond is forever just say,
so is death
Next time they ask what's in your wallet,
ask them what's in theirs. Tell them
you learned just how free the world could be.
When this is all over just
remember there are some things money can't buy. For everything else, MasterCard is only an option.
They will say America has "the biggest economy,
the greatest economy we have ever had,
the highest employment numbers, the best employment numbers, best unemployment numbers, also, the
best of everything."
Tell them, leading the world in COVID-19 confirmed cases by over 400,000 1, is not the best & this
wasn't even about being the best of anything.
It was about survival.
They will say keep America great because it always was.
You let them know flat out, that is a lie
but what we can do is build a new America.
They will say all the things
to make you think you imagined it all—
that CoVID-19 never happened,
that it was a hoax & that they did GREAT things
to handle the hoax that never happened.
Remember you heard the earth ask
"Can you hear me now?" & we don't need Verizon
to listen to the woods. We will remember the dead,
unsung & buried, the ground holding their bodies
as we hold hands again. We will listen to the earth
look into the cleared water, breathe the air,
feel more human than we ever have
& next time an M&M melts in your mouth,
you will think of a warm someone
melting in your hands instead
1. This number was accurate on the day of completing the draft. It has grown exponentially since then.
D. Colin is a poet, performer, visual artist and educator living in Troy, NY. She is the author of two poetry collections, Dreaming in Kreyol and Said the Swing to the Hoop. She is also a Cave Canem, VONA and New York State Writers Institute fellow. She currently curates and hosts Poetic Vibe, a weekly poetry open mic at Troy Kitchen. She also teaches workshops for schools, organizations and facilitates a weekly creative writing workshop at Root3d in Albany. (photo by Robert Cooper)