"To Heal the World" and "Your Birth Is Your Fate"

To Heal the World

I decided to make it my life’s mission to heal the ugly racial split that, like a jagged, infected wound, divides our country and planet. As a white male, I had the power to do so by impregnating as many women of color as possible, helping to create a new, post-racial America, a post-racial world.

I began by traveling around the country, bedding down as many female negros as possible, recalling the halcyon days of our great forefathers, George Washington and Thomas Jefferson. Some of the women responded with a horrified “get away from me, gnarly, disgusting white man,” or some such phrase. Others politely declined. But enough took up my generous offer to swoop me away on erotic adventures, in bedrooms, small apartments, a couple of back alleys, three bathrooms, in a variety of positions, from missionary to hanging upside down, with intimate conversation, exquisite foreplay, and great romantic feeling, or no foreplay and emotion at all.

Moving further into my exploration of race, I realized that simply healing the black-white divide was simplistic. I would have to bed down women of all racial and ethnic groups: Hispanic, Asian, indigenous, and even a few races not classified in the great variety of literature written on the topic by our race-obsessed species. This meant adventures around the planet, from the Amazon jungle to the Himalayas, that far outstripped the fervid imaginations of any Don Juan.

When the first blog posts and news articles of my quest began to appear, they were laudatory, but soon a chorus of criticism arose. Why wasn’t I taking responsibility for the myriad children I bore? Raised fatherless, without financial support and education, wouldn’t they simply be among the new dispossessed of the planet? Soon, the “Me Too” movement was up in arms, despite my protestations that everything these women did was voluntary. Other pompous critics shrieked, on social media that blanketed the planet, that my whole endeavor was just a continuation of European imperialism.

I confess, I had anticipated all this backlash before my adventures began, but in a stew of erotic lust had convinced myself that I was doing good for humanity. Now, in my dreams, my children come for me, surrounding me in the night, whining pitifully, encroaching upon me in the darkness with their blinking yellow eyes, pleading for fatherly love or at least a little child support.



Your Birth Is Your Fate

In my dream, I was born an orthodox Jew, one of those funny little hats permanently attached to my head, a mutation unprecedented in science. I was deathly allergic to pork and shellfish. This was strange since my parents are in no way religious. I grew up a militant atheist, railing against the idea of G-d and the unfairness of the universe. Mostly people just ignored me.

Now, with anti-Semitism swelling across the globe, I find myself under fire. People rush away from me, afraid that I carry some virulent disease, though I could assure them that genetic mutations are not catching. True, if I had children with these racist strangers, G-d knows what the offspring would be. Perhaps they would have Yarmulkas attached to their heads even larger and more prominent than mine, perhaps they would be all Yarmulka, their humanness overtaken utterly, reduced to a symbol of Otherness. In any case, I don’t want to breed with people on the street, just have them behave decently toward me.

Meanwhile, the anti-Semites grow bolder. From a distance, the other day, a woman shouted out, “too bad Hitler didn’t kill all of you.” And just this morning, a man sprang at me, slapped my face, then backed away as if I were some diseased thing. It’s only a matter of time before the knife or the gun that ends this bizarre experiment that is my life.



Ethan Goffman

Ethan Goffman’s first volume of poetry, Words for Things Left Unsaid, was published by Kelsay Books in March of 2020.  His poems and flash fiction have appeared in Alien Buddha, Ariel Chart, BlazeVox, Bradlaugh’s Finger, Burgeon, EarthTalk, The Loch Raven Review, Mad Swirl, Madness Muse, Ramingo’s Blog, The Raw Art Review, Setu, Verse Virtual and elsewhere.  Ethan is co-founder of It Takes a Community, a Montgomery College initiative bringing poetry to students and local residents.  He is also founder and producer of the Poetry & Planet podcast on EarthTalk.org.


Edited for Unlikely by Jonathan Penton, Editor-in-Chief
Last revised on Monday, June 21, 2021 - 22:03