Monday, November 18, 2013


 What is nailed to granite
takes us hostage to a myth of optimism,
a community where no babies
are abandoned in garbage cans,
wise old women in lawn chairs
fanning themselves with astrological charts,
highways repaved but never widened,
all retail clerks brothers and sisters,
motorized skateboards,
good manners among neighbors,
no one too rich or too poor,
the serene aftermath of war
our fertile real estate.

 A cat in the dark alley
 knocks over a garbage can,
cockroaches pass through poison
as through a slightly unusual room,
don't be afraid, what you see
is a reflection in the window
of an oriental woman
peeking over her glasses
while she works at a sewing machine.

A soldier clothed in green patina
marches past the public library
for his proud Gold Star Mother.

We are taught our wars are kindnesses,
favors we do for our enemies.

Peace is also a litany of greed,
fading uniforms, reams of paper
with secrets printed on them.

Waking up in a strange hospital,
hearing the butterflies screaming.

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"If a nation expects to be ignorant and free, in a state of civilization, it expects what never was and never will be." Thomas Jefferson

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