This is not what we ordered.
Where are the scenes by the sea
you promised us?
The forest trails, the musk of pines, unexpected
views over the mountains?
This is too small.
How can we grow here?
How can we feel joy here?

The mirror is cracked and desilvered.
Pipes above the sink
leak, the steps to the
porch are rotten, the house is run-down,
the whole region is mournful, dispiriting.
I thought you were going to teach us wisdom,
provide us with buzzes and highs?
Make us central? Affirm our lives?
What happened to romance, and liberty?
Where are the epiphanies?

This place is too mean and too poor
for anything important to happen here.
The soil is meagre, the climate inclement,
the air itself seems filled with inertia,
faith has long gone, the company pulled out,
the veins exhausted, the mine
is on its knees,
no wonder people are leaving.
There’s no time to rest,
no space for peace or contemplation.
Why continue?

You said there would be truth.
Everything’s worn out, even new things
are false and flawed:
last night my only dream
was of a path through a dreary neighbourhood,
basements
stinking of boiled cabbage,
a brown, slobbering cur
growling in a garden of dead sunflowers.
Do you think we can raise our children
in conditions like these?
If we lived here our entire lives,
and left on the very last day,
what would we miss?

You’ve failed us.
We’re going, very soon, as you’ll see.
We don’t believe a word you tell us.
We are not going to pay for this.

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