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Nikes for the Next Generation photo

— after Frank Ocean, “Nikes”

You would have laughed 
at the sight of us: bodies twisted,
one foot in the air to show off
a new pair of Nikes; iPhones ringing 
with warning about deep time, 
deep funk. What a defunct 

time it was to be alive. I promise 
we loved the earth. So much 
so that we took chances with our life 
just to see it. We flew one person to a seat 
at the highest of altitudes. We slid under glass 
plates of sky. Over geysers, canyons 

buried succinctly between sandstones.
& though we didn’t effectively save it 
—I promise we loved the earth. 
I mean, we lived collectively anxious 
about the future of it. From so high up, 
pronghorns dotted grasslands 

             like tufts of clouds kicking up dirt. 

I promise we thought of you. 
I promise we were human. 
Some of us put forth our best 
efforts but yet. We wanted 
not only to visit the moon, 
but to inhabit it. We wanted 

& wanted & wanted more 
until there was nothing left 
to want. If you could have seen it
— the grizzly bear drinking
from the watering hole, 
you would have loved it. 

I promise we thought of you.
I promise we didn’t mean to hand you
an equation of loneliness 
none of us knew how to solve,
a pair of Nikes covered in scat
with nothing to clean them with. 


image: Hemesh Patil