I Live in the 21st Century

William Keckler
1 min readMar 4, 2023

Sometimes I get confused. I think for a brief fillip of consciousness that living in the 21st century means I am living in the year 2123 rather than 2023. My math crayon slips. I swallow some clear-headed saliva then and say, “Oh what is the difference, really?” A century is a firefly. You can smoosh it like a five-year-old would on the porcelain of the sink in which you absent-mindedly brush your predator apex species trophy teeth. Always watching them in the mirror, like a lyric complements a song’s melody. It won’t be any different, your body tells your un-bodied (so it says) brain. Okay, maybe people will be flying without vehicles several feet above the earth. And all living to 150 years to annoy each other even more. But change? Really? They will all be privilege henpecking privilege, seeking the victories in small wars that assuage dying. And they will still be feeding on the blood of animals with minds like small children. Animals will still hang upside-down to be lasered and bled. To become the photogenic battlefield on the restaurant table over which one war is translated into another. The virus of importance will have mutated into something glorious by then. Meaning really ugly. Meaning now is then. Until you see animals, you will never see yourself. Because they cannot say STOP, you continue. Your only ghost is language and it is a defective ghost.

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William Keckler

Writer, visual artist. Books include Sanskrit of the Body, which won in the U.S. National Poetry Series (Penguin). https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/532348.