Addiction Sonnet
       -- Sharon Olds

A prejudice is an addiction, and it’s
contagious—parents infect their children.
And addiction’s obsessive, if a man finds it
difficult to show his love to his
son, it may be because his father
escaped with his life from the village in which
his own father had just been murdered
in a pogrom, his model as a father
a man in terror.
But addiction to such a silence can be
healed, as Carl and his son tried to do,
through hard work. Workers of the world,
unite, we have nothing to lose
but the death of the earth.

Death of the Earth Sonnet

Perhaps we are all addicted to prejudice.
Maybe we stubbornly love what promises
to kill us. Could be that our parents are born
into murder, bloodstream memory, and it runs

through them into us hot and insistent as gun
fire in a distant jungle, the obsessive chop
chop chop of flying blades soundtrack to
genetic suicide. But our desire for terror

might at last be turned to account -- after 
the final countdown, the last triggers
pulled and buttons pushed, after the smoke
of our addiction to killing finally clears,

the earth might wake to a healing absence of
all that is human, a blessed silence.

Suggested soundtrack: Joni Mitchell, “Big Yellow Taxi” and REM, “The End of the World of the World as We Know It (and I Feel Fine)