a poem by Chloe Fang, ’23

Everything will be fine, they say, as mothers and fathers fight desperately behind them, trying to keep their sons and daughters close to them. Everything will be fine.
This is for their good, they say, as children scream and thrash, fighting to stay with what’s left of their broken family.
Everything will be fine.
They should be deported, they say. It’s a mercy that we allow them to stay here. What does it matter that they’re separated? Less trouble; they’re not human like us anyway.

Everything is fine, says our president. Climate change is fictional, and we’re nowhere close to an economic recession.
Everything is fine, says our president, as he unravels every single thing the United States has put in place to combat global warming and to stay as a respectable nation.
Everything is fine, because even though the seas are rising around Capitol Hill, it’s all a myth, right? It’s not like we, the most influential country in the world, actually suffer from problems like poverty, racism, rape, and murder, right?
Diseases that had previously laid asleep in the frozen ice sheets of this planet are waking up due to the rising water levels and temperatures. If Mother Earth is going down, she’s taking us down with her.
But who cares about that? Who’s to say it even matters? I’m only a student; a kid. I’ve only been fourteen for three months. According to those in power, I’m impulsive, and my opinion is irrational.

Because everything will be, and is, completely fine.