Even Then

if the world blew up,
would we wake up?
would politicians admit their lies
as countries sizzled away?
would followers of Christ
drop their bloody Cross?
would the rich forsake gold,
and the gun-happy
shed their weapons?

who would dare to shout,
in that last minute,
that our ways of living
had been sick and perverse,
if only because they led
to everyone burning?
would we realize
that our friends
and family and god and culture
and everything on tv
and on our computers
had been infected with a sly form
of deceit?

could we tear off
the paper-thin straitjacket
that squeezed our minds
into little balls, turned us
into fetal prisoners
within the unmentionable asylum
of the work day?

could anyone be a hero, even then,
faced with the strongest evidence?
would anyone die
ashamed?