Reverently addressing a numb electorate — the March of myth and why we can’t sleep through it
What did you do last night,
but offer a quasi drunk therapy.
Explaining why #MuteRKelly
necessarily includes changing your bar playlist.
Why it is and isn’t a faux pas.
Why our ear for things has to change,
and sometimes that will include nostalgia.
Like on weeks that celebrate liberation,
libations swirling until delight ensues
while we look just above the heads of people we believe deserve to remain in cages.
toxic stress cages,
actual cages where we record their speech bubbles as descriptive memes.
Where we line our streets with American flags and Confederate flags and Nazi flags.
Where we crave the spoils of war and the drumbeat of heroism,
and yet we can’t talk ourselves into even the therapy bills.
Must we then resort to drunk therapy that we tolerate better because we won’t remember that it happened.
Less than we’ll remember that we sought the container out on purpose,
because even our drink selves aren’t having fun.
Stealing moments alone because he asked for poem writing,
though maybe his memories will be different than mine.
Without a bathing suit my feet are sand covered,
sunglasses removed to write,
skin covered enough to blend in,
and my earbuds play a timely lyric,
Like the kickback from a loaded gun it takes some getting used to,
and I can’t un pull the trigger, I can’t make you call,
and these ghosts I treat like lovers ain’t been helping me at all.
The lyrics that sounded from Maine’s beaches two years ago,
as I wrote for hours from a beach without a bathing suit, or the faintest intention of swimming,
but I replayed this haunting song.
I heard in a cadence a vignette I’d seen before,
even lived before,
one I see now on a much larger stage.
The one where we reckon with the practical cost of divorce,
from tequila sunrises,
from the least dangerous of our demons,
from the most fictional of monsters,
from half baked remorse,
from every intention of forgetting how we feel tomorrow.
We know we can forget, and the forgetting will occur at a party.
With fireworks and calls and responses of I love America,
and the murmur of I hate myself rising out of our speech bubbles and out of our imaginations of who we are.
The cages won’t have gone anywhere.
Our sadness won’t have changed anything.
And somehow our eyes will be distracted by fireworks we’ve set off,
unfortunately like the demons we note still the least dangerous among us.
Isn’t that America though.
Close to the heart,
disassembled for the sake of dismissive unity.
The one that was never made to feel livable.
The one that isn’t livable in the most divisible amounts.
The one that sounds haunting,
like a funeral and not a birth.
What we can bear feeling
as a souvenir of the nostalgia we want to keep
exchanged for what.
I guess everything else.
Everything below where we’ve taught our eyes to look for signs.
Everything that is here,
until is isn’t.
Until it’s finally gone.
Like the bottle of a fifth of tequila that we needed to drink to honor the festivities.
I hear the ocean and I wonder as the song plays, is this the poem he hoped we’d write together.