Actually, Ken Bone is a Ghost

There is no Ken Bone. His red cable-knit sweater is nothing more than heat shimmering beneath the television lights. His voice is your own, the internal dialogue that questions every action.

What steps will your energy policy take to meet our energy needs while at the same time remaining environmentally friendly and minimizing job loss for fossil power plant workers?”

This question is just an echo of your anxiety. The planet is heating up. The job market is growing thin. You’re sucking the marrow from the earth in order to get by. But then again, you were never given a choice.

“I think it’s such a great question.”

Ken Bone shifts and glistens. The television lights cast his shadow onto the camera sensors. The candidates gaze at it like the face of a sundial, make hard eye contact. They’re dying to tell you the time.

“What steps will you take to minimize loss?”

An axe thrusts into the earth’s shoulderblades. A hand grabs a mountain by the pussy and pulls out lurid handfuls of coal. Somewhere in America a thousand Ken Bones are packed into the control rooms of coal-fired power plants, relieving each other from 12-hour shifts, bright red from the heat and coiled into long, meaty ropes.

“The Red Sweater is Plan B.”

You sit under the television lights. It’s very hot. Your pants are ripping. Your mustache tickles as it grows. Your glasses pinch just above the ears. You’re Ken Bone now. You stand and clear your throat and ask a question.

“There is a thing called clean coal.”

There is no Ken Bone. There are only promises on the air and a clock counting down. Someone has to pay for this, for America, for its magnitude. You know what this country did last summer. You know what it’s ripping out of the sky to stay in place. Skeletons sit in all the seats. Tomorrow is another bone. The lights shut down and the camera clicks off.