• Fearsome Critters

Millennial Pink — Demi Wetzel

They just wanted us to be happy.

That’s what our parents said.

Even the animatronic fish

Big Mouth Billy Bass

wanted us to be happy too.

Now we’re frozen here

with debt so deep

some of us put ourselves to sleep

with opioids

not found on the street.

We create Instagram profiles

solely dedicated to cacti

because our grandparents

have ruined the planet.

Our tiny studios and apodments

filled with pothos and sedums

plus herbs used to make tea

that zoinks us out

into a smooth,

dreamy bliss.

We worry about which

gluten free dish

we’ll bring to the BBQ

honoring our local

#BlackLivesMatter group

so no—

we won’t be putting down

any type of down payment

anytime soon.

We’re too damn busy,

too damn broke

from bailing out

our saints and martyrs

because they kicked down

another damn-ed, belov-ed

supremacist statue.

Just read our enamel pins.

Each with a different message,

cause, or clusterfuck of righteous,

radical love.

We hope you’ll grab a glimpse

as we guzzle down yet another

can of La Croix.

Two times we sang

at the top of our lungs

with tears in our eyes

while driving through the streets

of hometowns, far and wide

that our president was black

and our Lambo was blue.

Jobs jobs jobs

came and went.

There’s a reason that album

was called The Recession.

Now we spend mornings rearranging

our vocabulary so our friends

and lovers

may feel some shade of welcome,

some sense of safety

when they enter our home.

You say identity politics

and safe spaces

are ruining the country.

We’re just happy

to finally have the right

words to match the truths

we’ve known all along.

A generation built on feelings,

emotions, and 24-hour access

to cable television news.

We’re the ultimate iconoclasts

fighting for intersectional,

socio economic justice.

Liberation is just another thing

we try to do.

So this is what you get

when you tell kids not to worry

and just be happy.

Better watch out.

You might get happy too.

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