The new textbook named S-E-X
the greatest nation on Earth, orgasm
good old-fashioned family values,
insemination putting God back in
our public schools. When students
raised academic standards
with their taut bodies, they learned
a lesson in powerlessness. How hot
teachers got to give them some
strict discipline after class.
During detention, we had to hide
our Western canon under the desk.
All big boys possessed a small
business owner and girls
a job creator, their affairs over
and over deemed private enterprise.
Interns whose dress might stimulate
consumer spending found
they needed punishment behind
closed boardroom doors. How hard
bosses flogged upward mobility
in their pants. We liked to watch
office romances and pull ourselves
up by our bootstraps at work.
Common ways of roleplaying
enhanced interrogation techniques
were with a blindfold and rope
to win hearts and minds or naked
for shock and awe. Both made us
prisoners of lust who must
support our troops alone. How fast
captors forgot to stop or ignored
the optional safeword, peace
through strength. We confessed
our most forbidden game
was government security contractor,
our acrobatic position spreading
freedom around the world,
our rape fantasies, secret no more,
greeted as liberators.
Steven D. Schroeder’s second book, The Royal Nonesuch (Spark Wheel Press), won the Devil’s Kitchen Reading Award from Southern Illinois University. His poetry is recently available in Crazyhorse, The Laurel Review, and Southern Indiana Review. He works as a creative content manager for a financial marketing agency.