Weekly Poem: ‘Dispatch From the Future’
By Leigh Stein
I am wearing my librarian costume.
Yes, I saved it from the fires.
In the future, when we say antiquity, we mean
state fairs and musicals. We mean affairs
of state, amusement. You left me a message
to say you were sad but you understood
which state I was coming from and I’m wondering
now which state you meant. West of us?
Or did you mean a state of mind?
I don’t have states of mind, I only have sweater sets.
I get dressed up and then I undress. I’d show you,
but this is a dispatch, I’m the dispatcher.
The calls come into my call center and
it’s my job to say, What’s the future
of your emergency?
Our new state flag is an aurochs,
not to celebrate extinction, but
to celebrate the wild part of us that died
in 1627. They moved her skull to Stockholm.
I wear my state flag like a dress.
Leigh Stein is the author of the book of poems “Dispatch from the Future” (Melville Books, 2012), one of Publishers Weekly’s “Best Summer Books of 2012,” and the novel “The Fallback Plan” (Melville Books, 2012).