Today's poem is by Martha Silano

The Untied States of America

America, with your water-tower towns, your irrigation sprinklers,
your perpetual homage to Hopper. America, where if there's a river

there's a dam, and where there's a dam there's a peach grove, a flag
still there. America, where kids pry beer caps from the cooling asphalt.

America, a round of gunshots at three in the morning; the helicopters
circling, searching. America, falling asleep as the alarm starts beeping,

the wife having heard none of it, nothing since the chained dog finished
his aria at 2:37 am. America, a white tablet not exactly tabula rasa, on account

of the Lenapes and the Mohicans, on account of the Skagit and the wampum.
But America, the watercress in the oasis, the makeshift crosses. But America,

she outlived five husbands, though of course the questionable death
of the second, and the stolen cattle. America, a duel. America, a drowning.

America, an orchard. America, we are all going to college in diapers.
The prognosis is good, but first a year in Guatemala, a stint with the Nationals,

a frosty cold one. America, you're a Wells Fargo horse-drawn carriage.
America, a two-pack a-day-Camel-unfiltered smoker. America,

the bees have taken over the foreclosures. America, where heroes sacrifice
flies. America, brave as a Cracker Jack. America, we will always pay more

for a view and take out. America, Lunestra-ed. Sonata-fled, all fired up
with popping The American Dream balloon. America, are you related

to anyone famous? America, more dessert than desert. America, Tu casa
es mi casa
. America, First Assembly of Quik-Mart, Untied we Best Value.

America, you're an eagle of greed, an eagle of steel. America, Eat Now
and Escape. America, you're a lake of illogic and thorns. O spacious skies,

Berkeley's a long ways from here. America, prepare to meet thy God
of Lowe's. America, Assembly of Fitch. America, rest in peat and maggots

(the proof through the night). O outlet, o clearance, o slash, slash, slash.
Bridges and brats, Dismal Nitch and pilings. America, too much faith

in plastic. America, you're a Sleep Country, a land of milk and money,
$49.95 in a vein that will not vanish. America, in velvety red,

white, and blue, in solid-oak splendor, in Mahogany. America, you stupid,
reckless lovely, rest in peace, thirty-four stems For a Limited Time Only.

Copyright © 2014 Martha Silano All rights reserved
from Reckless Lovely
saturnalia books
Reprinted by Verse Daily® with permission

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