Hindsight is 2020

Elysia Baskins


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?

Oh sorry! 

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.