America: Revenge Poem #4

Make it fun! scream the billboards,
the ammo shop signs, the babes
flouncing their assets in fringe
bikinis. Who doesn’t love God’s country—

its condos and tennis courts, its acid rain,
its public shakedowns for total devotion?
Who doesn’t love the rhetorical skills
of a cheese grater? Or the persecuting spirit

of Cotton Mather? Who doesn’t love
a good patriot, venal and dewy-eyed, with a habit
of making fun an injunction? Who doesn’t love
to be hoodwinked, then flopped into a plastic

baggie world of gimmickry and tap water
spiked with methanol? Who doesn’t love a blade
at the back, a blindfold over the eyes, and an open
grave ten paces away? Who doesn’t love

a land that’s made into a stage for a tyrant’s
psychosis, a President who leaves democracy
on the cutting room floor, and commits
only to mannequins and his own demons?

Who doesn’t love an epitaph that reads,
Our beloved drank the Kool Aid and blamed
the underclass for her ills. She bought the lie
that the litter on the highway was a scene of crime

while the rest of us mined the earth dry.
What is redemption? If it is to be in charge,
then charter a sailor and jet skis
and private tour your way around my mind

too gaslighted by Sparkle the Racist, Boo Boo
the Homophobe, and Frisky the Sexist
to be any good to you now. But I feel triggered,
says the frat boy in the front row, as fun as a sarcoma.

 

***

Sarah Giragosian‘s poems have recently appeared in Ecotone, 2016 Best of the Net Anthology, Prairie Schooner, The Missouri Review, The Baltimore Review, Blackbird, and Verse Daily, among others. A winner of the 2014 American Poetry Journal Book Prize, her first book Queer Fish was published by Dream Horse Press. She teaches in the department of Writing and Critical Inquiry at the University at Albany-SUNY.

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