“Oats and Powdered Milk” by Bryan Utesch

Oats and Powdered Milk

They give us paper
and tell us to cover our windows.
Buying powdered milk
and oats, to last the ages
and a long winter ahead.
The sky looks the same today,
but the paper says that will change.
If the missiles go backwards,
we might not be able to handle our
tea spoons, stirring.
These planted rows of control,
and honey
in a garden of chalky ideals.
Sit soaking
down to the very center
of malicious intent.
The papers call for rain,
said it before, and they’ll say it again.
Lost while searching for
sweet democracy,
while running from the colors we lack.
Learned long ago that the natural world
will balance out,
too afraid of what will happen
if we let it fall flat.

Slippery bananas in dark alleyways,
trying to approach the dumpster of thoughts.
Endless looming memories
of explosions and implanted fears.
These thoughts flicker
through their screens obligatorily
placed in our living rooms,
where ironically our subconscious minds
are fed despair.
Shadows pass overhead
as the hands move forward
in syncopated motion.
Counting down the doomsday clock
so future cousins will be looking
in closets for cockroaches,
and clutching artifacts
soon to be in museums.

It’s springtime in the states
and we’ve leaped into the trap
of another year
chasing continuous warfare
and feeding on fear.


Bryan Utesch grew up in the Midwest. His favorite poets are Ezra Pound and Hilda Doolittle. His favorite animal is a mongoose because they are badass and don’t take shit from nobody. He currently resides in Boulder, Colorado. You can read more of his work on his website.

Featured image by Heather Zabriskie

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