Human Inventions by Cathy Guo

depression was a human invention, as was the turban
clad Jesus, as was the vegetable too big for its skin,
mutated again and again in a petri dish
of scientific flesh, atomic waste, plastic.

coca-cola was a human invention, same with
the mania of my mother’s disease when it wasn’t
a novelty to be sane anymore. same with
couture and underground rock and pills.

kissing was a human invention, so was air pop,
so was man’s self-made machine desire,
so was genocide and crystal meth and every
teenager’s ivy league psychoanalyst.

opinion was a human invention, as was capital and
the theater of politics and man’s consciousness
as it hung itself in nihilism’s noose, as was
class war, incest, gaga, celebrity, inertia.

but dread was never a human invention
of no dimension, because we could not
catch dread and unweave it because dread
was what was incoming

dread as the carnival sputters, dread
because the inventions couldn’t
do it for you anymore and now
dread is almost here.