Vote Your Way to Hell

It’s a long and arduous journey.
Starving with numbness.
Tired of mixing kindness and sabotage.
You can’t trust instinct.
After the election, you can’t believe the weather is wrong again.
The sky cheats on your speech.
The process is complicated and precarious.
Disappointed, there’s no word of a sad sneer.
Nothing has changed.

What else do you expect?
This is already a hell, paved by your blood and passion.
You’d rather go back to the womb, it’s warmer.
May other reckless souls be consumed.

Even so, I want everyone to vote.
Vote your way to an alternative hell.
You’re part of the construction of our living inferno.

Here, keep cracking and burning bones as fuel.
The walls scream for mercy, sounding like your singing voice.
Many innocent young souls are recognized.
Vote! You deserve limbo, not war.
We need to keep walking in the dark, searching for hellfire and passing offspring an improbable spring and a maybe sunrise.

Copyright © 2023 by Chia-Lun Chang. Originally published in Poem-a-Day on June 22, 2023, by the Academy of American Poets.