Chris Johnson | YOU’RE LIVING NOW

yeah, okay, the world is on fire,
but I have two AC units
in my fourth floor apartment.
they’re not the window shakers,
but what Kelsy affectionately refers to
as “R2-D2s” with their white
and metallic grey exteriors
and their mysterious insides.
I know they’re made of a mess of wires
and freon, but that doesn’t explain
how the air comes out so cool
as soon as I hit the snowflake
on its minimal interface.

I’ve been losing sleep
as my apartment fills with air I’ve exhaled
at least once before, tossing and turning
because the news is inevitably
reporting a record-breaking heat wave
again this season. I think:
“we shouldn’t run the R2-D2
for too long today. it’s such a waste of energy.”
I think: “I’m making a small impact
in a world of lazy consumers
buying shit with Amazon Prime
because they don’t want to wait
the three weeks for delivery.” I think:
“I’m a martyr for willingly
putting myself through days of
slight-to-significant discomfort while
so many others unwittingly
light matches.” yeah, okay, I’m aware
this line of thinking is problematic.
yeah, okay, I’m problematic too.

or, no, if I could live
in a world without consequences
I’d ask everyone what they’d do
if they lived in a world
without consequences. is it
much different than how
you’re living now?

Chris Johnson (he/they) is a settler poet from Scarborough currently living on unceded Algonquin Anishinaabe territory. He is the Managing Editor for Arc Poetry Magazine, a board member at the Ottawa Arts Council, and a member of the creative collective VII. Holy Disorder of Being, VII’s second chapbook of collaborative poetry, is available from Gap Riot Press.