first world

what it first meant was:

the strongest buildings still announce bomb shelter

sturdy tan boxes where

before i was born

my parents cousins possible friends

learned to hear sirens and crouch under desks


what it really meant was a blue for freedom

like the seas between us

an arbitrary line drawn in bullet or tank track

red over there, for blood we still desire


what it means now is that a children's tv show

told me to save water.

i choose not to i like the fizz of its pressure,

white with excitement after brushing my teeth

& after the first spit, i cup my hand,

lower my mouth

lips to the water,

ah! how tasty how endless beautiful clean & free