we can’t sleep

It started over the summer. Zombified by the horror-show of one convention, cells vibrating with the drone of another. Something like evil broadcasts from the right, something like hubris from the left. Who can sleep through the noise of that stereo? Who can sleep with this level of dread?

Students sound out their alarm — The world is not safe! They are mocked from one side and the other. A generation fills the streets and are pelted with stones by a meaner hoard.

The prophet Cassandra was cursed when she refused the sexual advances of a god. She would tell the future’s truth and be denounced as a liar. People around her experienced the predictive power of her visions as a curse. (The future’s curse on the past.) She would be raped, and raped again. Murdered, eventually, along with her children.

We are up all night with basal-level insomnia.

We say this is the worst. With each enunciation we feel the force of that truth slip away from the sentence, as if it were so much fake news.