The Empty Set

Bound by doctrines of freedom, independence

Shackled to the ideal of autonomy, its contradictions

Waiting for a savior to emerge, living in the empty set

 

Alien priests and charlatans descend from the stars

Bargaining for the future with a wink and a nod, con-men

Selling pyramid schemes, bridges to the promised land

 

Remember the dream we were promised by Monroe

Manifest-destiny, genocide and terror, Westward Ho!

 

We blew the tops off mountains and set the prairie on fire

We cut the forests to the root, burying the grassland in dust

We poisoned the water, laced the air with toxins

 

Burning coal, pumping oil, smelting ore, splicing the atom

Celebrating freedom, liberty and progress, even as it kills us

 

We leapt from our peak, wings spread and falling in lament

A short flight for the broken-spirit, drowning in the lake of fire

Each and every aspiration, an occasion for disaster and ruin

 

We indemnified the priest who pushed us from the ledge

We circled the sun in tightening rings, decaying in our orbits

 

They sold us a seat at the electric circus, fed us styrofoam

We chased it with bile, a poor substitute for the body and blood

The synthetic eucharist, a gray-scale facsimile of the Son of Man

 

We abandoned the table of Mithra, the music of the spheres

Trying to recall the set of pinholes, piercing the curtain of night

The bright-silver lights, blinking in the dark, ghost of dead stars