Flat Earth

Thank God the world’s not flat and past mistakes can sink
far away
behind the curve of the Earth.
Cities fall away and are replaced by countryside.
Skyscrapers and smokestacks
give way to trees
and rolling green hills.

Imagine a flat Earth
Where everything forms the backdrop
to everything else.
Where the Manhattan skyline
is silhouetted against the Atlantic,
a jagged blue slash set before the Eiffel Tower,
which tilts toward the looming Alps,
in the foreground of the Blue Mosque,
a proud profile against the Great Wall…
all the way to the end of the Earth,
like pictures from a brochure pasted on top of each other
into perpetuity.

And think about all the ugly things
— factories spewing poisonous smoke,
high tension electricity towers,
ugly identical cookie cutter units
of cheap, pre-fab concrete housing,
industrial cranes and scaffolding,
mounds of stinking garbage,
heaps of rusting automobiles…
all of this sprawling forever in the flattened foreground
of a Medieval painting’s perspective.

Nowhere to run from it all.
No horizon to sink into.
No curves to hide behind.
Just one amazing totality
of in your face humanity
driving and working and eating and shitting,
and planting and cooking and building up and tearing down,
and smashing and fighting and fucking and killing
it’s way into the infinite, misty blue,
Japanese hills of eternity.

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Michael Wray

Hi, My name's Michael. I'm a writer/illustrator working as a primary ESL teacher in Istanbul. I love art, music, literature, and traveling.

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