The Other Thing by Sharon Suzuki-Martinez
The National Pork Board once pushed the slogan:
“Pork. The Other White Meat.”
Erroneous, but grossly successful. Very eighties.
Imagine if other groups horned in on that formula:
“Coffee. The Other Bitter Drink.”
“Oranges. The Other Orange Fruit.”
“Hope. The Other Thing with Feathers.”
Like the pork slogan, these instantly make you rack
your brain for the Other thing they evoke.
The veiled Other titillates. Those in the limelight fades.
Your mind sinks its teeth into chicken rather than pork,
sips hemlock instead of coffee,
crunches kumquats instead of oranges,
rides an ostrich instead of hope.
Slogans of the future could trumpet:
“Men. The Other Kind of Human.”
“Hate. The Other Response to Fear.”
“Work. The Other Pastime.”
Tomorrow could be rather quotidian,
but it could just as easily be the Other thing.
I am Hope agallop atop an ostrich,
and I approve this message.
Sharon Suzuki-Martinez’s first book, The Way of All Flux (New Rivers Press, 2012) won the New Rivers Press MVP Poetry Prize. Her chapbook, A Glimpse of Birds over O’odham Land, was published by Rinky Dink Press in 2021. Originally from Hawaii, she now lives in Tempe, Arizona.