Trading cards don’t have the same mystique
as they used to have (once upon a time
at the level of a carp cheek
after it’s been roasted to perfection
or an espresso machine making three drinks
at a time). On the contrary, their value
has plummeted in terms of social interaction,
and they spend the majority of their time
sitting on shelves and waiting in vain
to collect dust in a way similar to how
they were collected, in a gradual accumulation
with no discernible beginning or end
(sort of the way a good childhood should be conducted,
beginning before the idea of conception,
among the forms and knowing just as much
as the entirety of the cosmos, but only
needing to recall part of it when choosing
which environment is most suitable
for the ensuing life that has a 0.47% chance
of naturally occurring anyway).