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Wednesday, July 10, 2013


by Ed Bennett

When the Senate passed an expensive border-security measure two weeks ago, the fate of immigration reform in that chamber was all but sealed. The amendment made the overhaul easier to swallow for some Senate Republicans, paving the way for its passage last week. But the added measures also mean the government won't be saving as much money as first thought, according to a new Congressional Budget Office estimate. --Niraj Chokshi, National Journal, July 3, 2013

It’s all over, as they say,
except for the shouting.

Sixty votes obtained
on the contrails of the last election, the promise of presidents to come;

but shout they will
with every word and sentiment
aimed at brown skins and accents, that brave new world of inclusion.

Lets do the math:
six billion to open the door,
forty five thousand per head
to keep out the rest,
twelve million votes, give or take,
new to this canvas of electoral politics.

If you cannot stop the rush of history
or the perfidy of the Upper House,
do the math,
run the numbers,
call the count until the figures
roll up against a frail economy
to ask the question:
“Can we afford?”
“Dare we spend?”

Then we will digitize them,
distill their humanity into dollars and cents,
(they will be easier to ignore that way)
and our knock about faith
will be justified with numbers
as smooth as the cash count
at a teller’s window,

as empty as a hypocrite heaven
on an unexpected judgement day.

Ed Bennett is a poet and reviewer living in Las Vegas, NV. His works have appeared in The Externalist, Touch: The Journal of Healing, The Lavender Review, Quill and Parchment and Lilipo. He is a staff editor for Quill and Parchment Magazine, the recipient of a Pushcart Nomination and the author of “A Transit of Venus”.