Comparatives on Better

In New York Magazine
the staff writer bears the drudge
of a slavery-inspired industry that is seeing
a vertical surge while it hogs
the prime locations that would otherwise
be rented to similar-minded enterprises
She has submitted herself to the close
encounter with poverty and was touched
by hands that have seen dirt and despair that
if she knew about may have deterred her
from the cheap service and bits of relaxation
they provided through the mani&pedi combo
At that cost – the maltreated immigrants
underpaid and afraid of the tremors in their
boss’ temper – I too could afford to relax

Capitalism, the undisputed stallion of our prime
capricious and mercurial in its greed
shares its loot after all: charity wings
of benefactors in hospitals and art galleries
alike turn cities into clean examples of
afterthought and redemption
There is nothing better – shrug philosophers
and retired oligarchs concur in their villas
Better is what better is
Slavery on the main street
will tell you – it is worse everywhere else

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