Volume 34, Number 2

Gen Z

this is our time

hail to us the
skateboard warriors
the low-riding kings
of the guardrail

dudes of the street
and inheritor of this
great stained american
in our silver chains and
skull-encrusted hoodies
we’ll strain under our
resentment and burnish
it to crystal

we’ll fill our hookahs
with your melted ice
caps and build the world’s
biggest half pipe under
your capitol dome
as your waters rise our pants
will droop as your despair
rages we’ll turn up the
volume and when you finally
give up all hope it will be
our turn at the wheel

our ascension to
the throne will be
sweeter if you moan

we will wipe this world
clean of your excesses
a blank canvas for
us to paint new
images of our rage
and yes there will be hope
a virgin moment a new
beginning a primal spark
that you will not
live to see
we will invent the world
and it will be beautiful
it will be terrifying
it will be something
never before seen
and we will not let
the sad story of
your downfall

become the
stuff of

—Wess Mongo Jolley