®

Today's poem is by Elizabeth Hughey

The Americans
       

The slippery way of arriving is in oneís own departure.
A scramble of cold and gin. Americans want the door

back open. The curtain should not have lingered over
glazed, black-walnut New York. The girdle of gray seas

tapers the nation. We are cinched in and ready
to belt out the new anthem. In America, we have

20 ways to sing, Like, I could care. They all sound
faintly like, I could care. The way olive juice

may be mistaken for I love you. Olive juice is dirty,
and so is care. I want to be filthy and salty and spilled

all over the floors of elementary school cafeterias.
We donít want to be this kind of woman, hunched

over our desks, snarling. We are flammable
but too big to burn, a wooden planet. We hear

our chandeliers dropping, but they smashed down
generations ago. Iím not talking to you.

Iím talking to me, stooped over my own desk
on which I see a leaf push through black dirt.

A crop, I think. A bud! The smallest sprout shows
there is really no America. I still canít stand up.



Copyright © 2013 Elizabeth Hughey All rights reserved
from Guest Host
The National Poetry Review Press
Reprinted by Verse Daily® with permission

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