The past sometimes appears conditional
By Ian Williams
The cause is the consequence.
— Frantz Fanon
He would get pulled over
whenever he tried to download Blonde. He would be
searched for f-bombs but not for h-e-
double-hockey sticks. He would get choke-held
for wearing a hat in the hallway. He would
be Tasered for balling his Whopper wrapper
and leaving it on the floor of the streetcar.
He would get shot in the back every time
he incorrectly used MLA format in the essay
on A Midsummer Night’s Dream.
He would take
some E if he didn’t have to preach
austerity. He would hire a tennis coach
if the consultants he hired would actually
fire the people to be fired. He would upgrade
to the latest Galaxy if millennials didn’t
default on their student loans when he raised
interest rates. He would get his shoes polished
at the airport if the kiosk weren’t so far
from the platinum members’ lounge. He would
be placed on paid leave if he raped the trainee
from Dawson. Sexually assaulted. Allegedly.