Trickle-Down Theory

by Kenan Ince

Here in Texas when we turn on the water
the oil creeps through  the hose
 into our cars’ waiting tanks.
Our showers are always hot and thick
and our skin glistens all afternoon.
 Molly next door drinks a bottle
 straight. Our morning coffee
  pours slow but powers us for days.

How can you say we’re running
out of fuel when the oil rains
from the skies? It coats our crops
with its thick black milk. Here in Texas
we’ve prayed for rain so long
 we dance in the streets
  when the black downpour starts.
   Our congressmen write bills
    to praise Valero and Exxon.

I think we asked for it, these
  forty days of rain. We asked for it
  for not having a summer
house to pack up for when
the floods come. Or for being born
on the wrong side of the levees.
When they open and the water
 beads together in the widening
      crack, we think we’ve never seen
 anything more beautiful. And we think
      maybe this is what  we need,
  a clean slate. It’s almost refreshing,
      like the first wellings
          of pride as fireworks explode
      over our kids’ heads. “It’s
like a theme park forever,”
     we tell them when they ask
about heaven. “Like  Hawaii.
     Never  drops below sixty.”
We’ll sit
 at the beach all day and watch the Earth below
  as an invisible hand distills
   away the impure until
    all that is left of humanity
     is our constituent
   carbon. It is all
  we will ever give
 back to the world. It is all
the generosity we contain.

It’s coming. Quick, choose a hiding place:

A rusting trailer stall.
The shell of his mouth.
A green Chevy Nova.