Greatest Minds

I was told that hours spend with the pads of our thumbs poised over shiny buttons on a

controller, glued to animated narrative in an imaginary world,

Or that to soak our scalps in chemicals and singe our faux colored locks pin straight as a

standard of beauty,

Or to endlessly gaze at a screen on a box, one kept in a pocket or folded to be put in a bag,

made of metal and glass that connect us to the world,

Would cause the careful network of synapses to melt inside our skulls and the pink soft ice

cream of our brains will drip down our spines.

Is this where our greatest minds went?

 

I’ve seen sticky green leaves sold in tiny plastic bags, picked apart by long painted fingernails,

and inhaled out of colorful glass,

Or dozens of bottles in a freezer with coats of white frost and colorful tops, match the fake

flavors that won’t mask the flavor of clear liquid gone by morning,

Or plates of white powder divided by old credit cards, with Benjamin Franklin as a sidekick,

which nimble fingers roll to a straw,

Is this where our greatest minds went?

 

I’ve watched a girl throw away lunch day after day while her clothes stitched themselves

sizes bigger overnight,

Or the boy with rusty wrists and distant eyes, hidden behind long sweater sleeves and mumbled

false promises that he is fine,

Or the couple who has two strong fists and one black eye not disguised by the foundation she

wears and the loving gaze he gives,

Is this where our greatest minds went?

 

So easy to point fingers full of blame, for those older to trace the faint strings that lead back to

where we all went wrong,

But we aren’t the ones who held our generation as infants, fed us as toddlers, taught us as

children and scolded us as teens,

We aren’t the ones who raised us to believe that happiness would come when we’ve earned our

degrees, worked our jobs, put ourselves in a box labeled happiness.

The greatest minds of our generations have been bleached clean by the worst of yours.

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