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Steven's new bartering system...

This month is National Poetry Month. In honor of that, our drummer, Steven Wilbur has written several poems to go along with the sentiment of poetry appreciation. The following is one of my (Emily) favorite poems he's written:


At Gordito’s, you might let your newborn lie down
next to a burrito of comparable size for its first photo,
and they will give you this burrito free of charge.
Here, a burrito the size of your child. Be our guest.

On one hand, you’ve lost,
but in the other hand, you have a free burrito
that takes two hands to eat, and therefore, not enough hands
to hold onto any sadness.

I would like to adopt this for a personal bartering system,
and announce my first purchase,
a small bear.

At the zoo, I will approach the zookeepers,
kneel down fetal-ly next to my new bear,
grant them a photo to commemorate our spacial similarities,
and take the bear home, free of charge.

Once I have obtained the bear,
this bartering system can be more easily enforced.
The bear will follow me everywhere, at all times,
with pause enough to remember each moment,
drying the cement in my requests amidst an unsettled world.
We will walk confidently upon
golden sidewalks built on the pretense of our volumes.

As a result of my ongoing discount,
everything in my house will be as tall,
or at least as awkward, as I, including the house itself.
The bear and I will take turns sunbathing in our one-person pool.
The salt and pepper shakers will have a 32-waist and faithfully
hold the volleyball net when we are not seasoning our nachos
from the closet-sized oven we have hidden from the children.

One day, if I am gifted with a daughter, I’ll take her to the leather-man,
who will craft a bear-saddle just her size, take a picture, and send us away
to parade her around on the back of a full-grown black bear.

I am not building an empire,
but if ever a baby is rewarded for its tenderness,
we should give them a gift they can conquer with,
or at least eat.