Hindsight is 2020
For the 2020 Pandemic, we came armed with
Lysol Liquor, we had to buy from our strung-out
sister state: New Jersey; snuck across the
bridge like it was the Prohibition.
People with privilege, fleeing Philly back to their
low-risk homes with low interest loans and 26% of
us living below the poverty line, below me.
The Big Company overlords owe me at least that much
(with a smile stamped on every box)
Hey, at least food stamps got increased thirty bucks, and
there’s that stimulus check my brother never got.
I stock shelves in a medical-grade face mask and
shop for food I can’t afford for people who can
afford not to care that I can’t afford food, but I
have to throw it away every day at work.
This is the system, and yes, this is how it’s designed to work
Capitalism is a circle-jerk, meanwhile a stray cat gives birth
on my front porch and everyone feeds it. You don’t have to
look far to see the people who give are the people who need
Watching statues topple over, logos changed, while
reparations remain unpaid, white people, moving
into the places they bombed, calling it home, asking
brown people, where are you from?
No really, where are your parents from, tell me?
I forgot the whole world is private property
And I can’t be from here
(I guess I’m not from anywhere)
Elysia Baskins is a Queer Philly author of both adult and children’s short stories, as well as poetry—usually with a wicked twist. Her work has been published in Philadelphia’s local lit mag, Apiary, as well as the Pennsylvania Gazette and Penn’s feminist magazine The F-Word. When not writing, she enjoys sweets, stickerbooking, walking her dog, and playing Minecraft.