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April 2018, vol 14 no 1

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Autumn Noelle Hall

Blue Light Special

“I think I’m going to run to Target and get all new blue string lights,” she says, “I already have white, but don’t you just love blue light? Besides, they’re only $5.”

she sees ambiance
the indoor glow of winter
a short trip
a small investment
a glint of happiness

But I see laborers living on-site at the Chinese Light Factory working more hours for less pay;
I see the American factory jobs that went away. Unemployment lines of men who can’t afford
even $5 more for blue lights. I see plastic plugged into plastic wrapped around plastic boxed in
printed cardboard—petroleum products fueling the fossil fuel industry, pulp and chemical sales
padding shareholder pockets; money sent skyward like pollution to buy political power. I see
CO2 accumulation as an ocean-going freighter trails a wake through surging seas, and loaded
semis rev their way across the USA dispatching boxes of blue lights throughout metropolises
nation-wide, and one woman in a six-seat SUV burns a gallon of gasoline just to drive to
the store before they sell out.

I see
temperatures rise
I see
polar bears drown
I see red