I watch the market, rooting for my stock
like a child at a ballpark, wearing the colors of his team.
Bernanke has done well within the system,
protecting all the right players from shock.
But others infect our dreams, flickering over screens
as we eat pasta and watch the pundits scream
about lines being crossed as we speak, portals broken
to our inner cultural selves, the American dream
filled bottom up with grits. Pundits forget the universe
in a grain of sand. A girl on a wire fence
without food or drink, sent home without trial,
returned to scrub our sinks and bath tiles
clean. Clean is what they think they need
when they see themselves on the screen.
But the market goes up and we are pleased.
We hire a nanny from the south and buy
a barbie in dark hue. We learn to read
Neruda in his tongue while Juan Rulfo’s ghost
haunts visitors that never meet their hosts.
Borges has written us into a stylish labyrinth
of desire, with no Grecian thread to lead us out.
A monster of our own making prowls the plinth,
eating ideas of purity until we are born again, minotaurs.
One half climbs the market. The other climbs the fence.
Rimas Uzgiris is a poet, translator, editor and critic. His work has appeared in Barrow Street, AGNI, Atlanta Review, Kin, Quiddity, Per Contra, Hudson Review and other journals. He is translation editor and primary translator of How the Earth Carries Us: New Lithuanian Poets (Vilnius, 2015). He holds a Ph.D. in philosophy from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and an MFA in creative writing from Rutgers-Newark University. Recipient of a Fulbright Scholar Grant and a National Endowment for the Arts Literature Translation Fellowship, he teaches literature, translation and creative writing at Vilnius University.