I grew up on monopoly money and lucky charms
leftover hanukkah gelt from 
the friend who always
had things
in her family fridge
but what about those things
I bought with my own money
the sour one-cent gummies, 
shaped like warped, warring men
they tasted hard and right
on the way
home from school.

(whispers, loudly: this is an ode to Rihanna)

what about those things?

(title for the thing: maybe “Repairing Rihanna”)
(or maybe: “Rihanna and Redress”)

hard-earned money in the
so-called smart city began to
get us
began to get us less things
the thing itself 
went public,
kicked back and relaxed 
meanwhile i am already so bored
i want to die

whenever I check my balance I hear voices
someone is owed! sing it, honey!
laaaadiiiidii, ladiidaa!  louder, honey!!!!
those automated sing-ah-longs…
make it count
make tech boom

a digital glitch is not the mistake
but rather that exact moment
the institution reproduces itself

and ugh.

Copyright © 2020 by Tiana Reid. Originally published in Poem-a-Day on June 4, 2020 by the Academy of American Poets.