Poem by NICHOLAS SIRIANNO
What is American?
Is it a mean grip? A place to take other people’s opinions?
Broken down into cities—
Chicago, New York, St. Louis?
We all hear it on television and in the papers.
Headlines of Haiti, Hurricanes, and Hallmark,
Squared down to tongue length fields
By industrial fan systems and plastic windmills.
Is it a drippy corner with soggy cardboard and old food?
We have all seen them somewhere,
Holes in their socks, late night chatter in ruffled news blankets.
Pinch your high noses on your morning walk to whatever you do,
‘Cause I’ll still be here when you walk home and I’ll still smell like garlic and coffee.
Wishful thinking, you pump skinny jeaned bitch.
‘Cause my face scratches the cement,
And yours is muffled by your pillow.
I’ll hear the last footsteps of America,
Feeding their infants breast milk
And shrieking at blood splattered white