Thumbnails of America

America, do you ever stop and wonder,
How did this become my life?
Do you ever ask why you haven’t aged
out of your cornflake tastes,
your flipbook sentiments, your gun to head
demands? Do you wish for a heart
less like a turnstile or a mother tongue
other than a dollar? You’re a hustler,
a crowd pleaser, a lover of security
gate rituals. I feel you screening
my face, patting me down
with your eyes when I return to you.
Today, lonely, you’re jonesing for scapegoats
but Sunday you’ll devote
to polishing trophies or strong-arming history.
You don your equipment, God and suspicion,
offhandedly, but what do you wear
under your skirts? Ghosts—so many—the net
effect of centuries of collateral damage.
And in your pocket, what are you fingering?
Could be crackerjacks,
could be a trigger. No matter.
I know this though: you made me,
then creased me down the middle
with your greasy thumb.
We are that fold, that divided part.


I wait
for your tenderness.
bleeding along
a foreign border,

White City

Most of our seen world has been colonized. While we work to regain it, we protect the unseen from encroachment, from being stolen and mangled.