The poem tells you what it means
if for instance you drove all the way to buy
a lottery ticket on the border with California
because you never know about these things.
There’s a line because nobody’s won yet.
Now the payout is over a billion—
Imagine what you could buy with that.
You have to remember you’re at the age
when you’ve started to feel as though
you might’ve missed out on something.
Whatever it is, a billion dollars should cover it.
You know there’s a better chance
of being struck by lightning, the news
keeps telling you that, but it doesn’t matter
because who wouldn’t want to be struck
by lightning and live to tell about it?
You’re assuming you’ll live because
you’re assuming it’s going to hit you
not someone else, not these other people
standing in a line that wraps around the parking lot
of the Indian casino. After all who wouldn’t mind
their greatness being thrust upon them?
It might as well be you, you’re decent enough
and if you won you’d make sure your family
and friends got something too. You might
even give back to the community, who knows.
At any rate, it would certainly be nice to lift
that weight off your back, whatever it is.
What you’d do with the money is less important
than what you imagine being chosen must feel like.
A world somehow faithful to your point of view.
For you require great significance to satisfy.
You must touch lightning bolts to live.
Artwork: Vincent van Gogh – The State Lottery (1883)