I had wanted to show the simplifications
possible in prose: how it could branch off
anywhere but doesn’t, like a dead tree
or reversed diaspora, the sentence
carrying forward identity, yours
and its own, how this simplification,
while it might seem easy, is circuitous,
arduously ignoring each alternate route
and you went through the world this way
not eating what everyone else ate,
refusing the milk everyone else drank
because of your special knowledge
of the world you went through, its secrets,
how it worked and what we had done to it,
not us and no one we knew, but others, or forces
that moved them, that didn’t know care
from a cage to keep your mind in, and later
your cows, swollen, milked by machine.

Jessica Laser is the author of Planet Drill (Futurepoem Books, 2022) and Sergei Kuzmich from All Sides (Letter Machine Editions, 2019).