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.

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