The Meaning of Wealth in the New Economy


“Wealth … is the means by which we fulfill our desires.”
- Interview with Stan Davis & Chris Meyers, Harvard Business School Publishing

Hence the cat’s languid stretch, its bullet spring, the puppy
eyes of the one you love, asking undue favours
you resent, yet relent to. The mercenary burst
of bougainvillea, machine-gun clatter of rubber-seeds falling
to hard ground as December comes, bearing fistfuls of rain.
Consider the lilies of the field, how like your pale hunger,
the hollow in the gut that pulls you forward, the lust
to work, earn, mate, the same gravity that binds
water to sky, impels birds to song and blood, both.

Remember the electric twitch of a nerve
as skin kissed skin for the first time ever?
Every word you waste in trade for half-truths
you need to get by, turning the volume down on guilt
as you come home past midnight, head bowed, rehearsing
lies, as you knock on the door. Every lapse in your wellness
diet, stolen Oreos, prophylactic silences, each step you take
away from the home of your childhood, thirsting for road:

Nothing but riches, between the leafy congregation of trees
and the echo of a single prayer down empty aisles, as
cars slam in unison and grumble one by one into gear.
A child’s gurgle and squeal, the kind that brings parents running
for a glimpse of joy, reward, and willing to pay for it with
love. In which case we have always known this bounty, the means
to open a window and let the morning in for all it’s worth.

You hoard a little every time you put aside, in sleep,
your daily dying. The doubling, and doubling again of years
of weight, of sorrow, that longing, for the one thing
you know you can never have, which keeps you alive.
In your dreams of being free, everything you’ve always wanted
to be, you walk smiling and whole, away
from the infinite riches of the world.