The cafes at the cusp of the twenty-second century
will fry bubble gum and serve reconstituted snow peas
by hovercraft robot, or so my students tell me.
The icing in the ice water will never melt,
and neither will the ice cream cake. Cheese Whiz
will be nutritious. Their future! How I long for it.
When consequences are long out of fashion
and babies feed themselves. When corn-fed
catfish jump from the pristine Mississippi
onto dinnerware made from the scratched CDs
of ancients. The quiet kid, Corey, sits in the back
and scratches his forearm until the old scabs bleed.
In the future that I write, Corey will hum
Satisfaction while he makes spoon bread
and greens in a sunny urban homestead
and forgets about the time he looked
out his bedroom window and saw
his father dying, shot in the head by a child.
With one hand in a hot mitt and the other
holding beer he’ll glance through the curtains
and laugh as stray dogs wander home.
Anya Groner's work has appeared in journals including Ninth Letter, FlatManCrooked, Pank and Memphis Magazine. She received an MFA at the University of Mississippi where she was a John and Renee Grisham fellow in fiction. She currently lives and teaches in New Orleans.