Thursday, December 11, 2014

Poem of the Day: America 2014

America 2014

America I have given you 44 years and you are nothing.
America I’ve got 28 cents in my savings account and a nineteen-hundred-dollar a month mortgage.
America you ring with joy at watching the smiling faces of the moneyed lenders
tell me to make my pledge to NPR in my will.
America when I’m gone I will leave you nothing but the stain in my underwear.

America please let the border kids stay.
They came crawling through the desert on their knees, or by clinging to
to the hard rails of the Beast, rumbling through the furnace of a merciless Chihuahuan summer.
Now you keep them in dog cages in McAllen, and AM Hate Radio Fearmongers call these children
                                call them
                                call them
                drug mules
                                call them
                                call them
                a flood.

America I still have not told you what Uncle Ronnie did to Archbishop Romero.

I took my son to a hospital to get a two-second x-ray of his hand to find out
why he’s only five-foot-three at the age of 14, and you
sent me a bill for two-thousand-six-hundred-eighty-three-dollars and fifty-one-cents.

America these are the same hospitals that
dump decrepit old white women out of moving cars in front of run-down clinics in Los Angeles.
These are the same hospitals that send the uninsured into the streets of Galveston
with tumors on their spine malignant enough to paralyze arms.
The same hospitals, dear America, that let Anna Brown die in a jail cell in St Louis,
when the emergency room could have stopped that blood clot from reaching her heart
with some aspirin and a tiny dose of humanity.

America I’m not naming names, but
Israel – really?
Saudi Arabia – really?
Are these the two allies you want when you try to call yourself a Christian nation?

America I choke myself silly, laughing daily at your absurdities,
that you wear like baubles around your fingers that dig
deep into my pockets and pull out my sensibilities.

America you are your governors stump speeches in your Baptist megachurches.
America you are the fading glacier of the Sierra Nevada
America you are the algae bloom in Lake Erie.
                Toledo can’t drink the water any more, turn ‘em over, they’re done.

America you are a hornet’s nest that kills pregnant women.
Your pets take selfies and then their owners fight over the copyright.
You let your husbands shoot their estranged wives in the face with a shotgun in
the early morning
in the parking lot of high schools
in your suburban suites.

America your factories have been converted into Ikeas,
America I think you have run out of ideas.
You are just not funny any more, and I want to cancel my subscription.

America do you hear me banging on my pot and my pan?
America can you see me through the stained-blood window in the mist of the dirty rain?

America will you please let me know the time and date when you plan to
blow the lid off the top of the last mountain?
I wanna take a picture, upload it to Instagram,
tell everyone: this wasn’t a wimper –

this baby went out with a bang. 


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