America!

In shapes of civil signs on capitol lawns, the story of America frames

itself in my mind’s eye, making love to anxiety-ridden news reports,

like with these tiny signs against orders we somehow think we hold

the reigns, like the radio tuned in is neatly winding up these fiery

fried noodles of radicals and fundamentalists,

changing with our chopstick powers,

like we wouldn’t be better off just featuring in headlines

the neighborhood kids of suburbia

playing hide and seek next door,

having fun before the mental illness

sets in, but what else can we do?

Just because I see the flames,

doesn’t mean I’ll march with my extinguisher smiling.

America, you fork spinach out of a can and gnash it,

Mindlessly with laser-white teeth.

You down coffee, military-like, demanding biological obedience,

Obedience of the workers, of the cars, of your microwaveable dinners.

Bend to my will.

Beat in time to the big man’s clock.

America, we’ve got our semi-automatic pistols loaded at the ready,

Billionaires with sanctuaries for the end-days, steady desolate silos,

Hidden away behind the stockpiles of food, behind our peasant shelters.

As for the rest of us, find krav maga deals on the way home.

Honey, pick up a prescription for my afflictions,

a meditation retreat, and a taser, please.

And the news keeps blasting into our skulls,

now with its own sense of cinematography,

Like I’d find it on Rotten Tomatoes.

Like, which came first: this or the Saw movies?

America, you sponge, absorbing and squeezing out our fears,

But it doesn’t stop there: you cleverly collect it in assorted chocolates

fad diets and your bottomless trench coat pockets.

America, I’ve got a problem with your little gendered boxes,

packaging people up like their being shipped to department stores.

And there,

We have the little ones playing Grand Theft Auto,

And I end up getting a call at 5am in the morning,

bleary-eyed hearing,

My roommate hysterical:

her car got lifted and mashed

into a street light,

by teenagers strung out on angst and other substances.

So, as it turns out,

The world seems to be a kaleidoscope

And some people get lost,

entranced or entangled

In its shuffling frames,

With glazed-over doll eyes to truth and reason,

Flicked and flapped about―

Marionettes.

But when looking up the puppeteer’s undulating thread,

there is no face

Only hands that aren’t your own.

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