an erasure poem based on George W. Bush’s 2001, so-called “War on Terror” speech which read in part “In the normal course of events, Presidents come to this chamber to report on the state of the Union.”
rescuers, unfurling light blood, prayers
– in English, Hebrew, and Arabic.
We the people
to bring justice
enemies of war
Americans know wars
casualties of war — peace
Americans have questions
Muslims Christians and Jews,
military and civilian
women and children.
linked to many different countries,
neighborhoods camps homes
around the world to plot a great vision for the world:
respect the human
condemn the regime.
the unjustly imprisoned. journalists, workers
a radical network of support
freedom of religion, freedom of speech, freedom to
overthrow government terror
end every atrocity, pretenses
abandon will to power —
will diplomacy, intelligence, law disrupt and defeat the network of war?
no combat lengthy campaign,
dramatic strikes, covert operations, secret terrorism
harbored by the United States.
announce the creation of a Cabinet-level position the Office of Homeland
be grateful organize respond
expect to live your lives, hug your children.
dramatically expand hijacking
of the extraordinary spirit
the United States of America
The advance of human freedom
Floyd Cheung is author of the chapbook Jazz at Manzanar (Finishing Line Press, 2014). His poems have appeared in qarrtsiluni, Rhino, and other journals. He teaches in the Department of English and American Studies Program at Smith College in Northampton, Massachusetts.