AMERICA

america
you pray like russian
roulette

you kiss like you’re trying
to commandeer our teeth

you smell like the little samples
0f perfume in skinny magazines

america
you’re pirating porn on the internet
wearing nothing but a stolen pair
of air jordans

america
you’re panting like a dog
do you ever put your tongue
back into your mouth?

america
your gums are bleeding
from brushing your teeth too hard

do you ever do anything
with grace?

it’s always 75 miles per hour
drunk on jack
jacked up on red bull
listening to two metal albums
on your cell phone
while playing candy crush
in seven o clock rush hour traffic
because life is too short
not to do
exactly what is most important to you
in that exact moment

america
you may listen to podcasts
on new age philosophy
be here now
live in the moment
but you always fast-forward
to the good parts

you always cut away the meat
of your steak
and sit back and chew on the fat

america
you’re so good at interrupting
the people you ask
to speak on your show

america
you borrowed from me
whenever i tell you you say you didn’t
but you did
and i want it back

america
you invented advertising
and marketing
and coffee and beer
and whiskey and electricity
and freedom and democracy
well
at least that’s what you tell everyone

america
you pretend to be attention deficit
but the truth is you are consciously choosing
not to listen

plus you can get great turnaround
selling addy to high school kids

america
were you ever great?
will you ever be great?
hyperbole is a french word
but its nine-hundred percent american

i once thought i saw you
through the brush of trees
that line flathead lake
there i know i saw you
this grand estranged deer
wide eyed and still
your black eye gazed back at me
full of one-thousand yard stare
post traumatic stress disorder
you looked at me
like you just discovered
the human concept of time
0r math
or internet-streamed television service

i picked up my AR-15
and i pointed right at you
as you bolted
deep into the thick trees of bigotry

i swear i saw you

the one that got away

a hologram of a dream
of an invention

a colossal invention

there in the hand of every american
there in the heart of those who believe

not a device to help you
a device that is you

america
are you recording this call?

america
why do i have to press one for english?

america
why is my seat so small and inconvenient
in this giant bullet
that flies through the sky?

america
you’re pronouncing
“patronizing” wrong

america
i asked for no special sauce
my daughter is allergic
i can’t believe this
what are you going to do
for me?

america
what are you going to do
for me?

america
why aren’t you the country
we talk so fiercely about you being?
we spent so much time so far
talking so fiercely
about what you could be?

america
tie your shoes

america
get a job

america
love your neighbor

america
i’m not going to pay for your webcam
i don’t care h0w handsome you tell me i
am

america
if you say a word too many times
it starts to sound funny
it starts to stick to the roof of your mouth
like jiffy (c) peanut butter
america

america

america

america
when will the illuminati
reveal themselves?
was 9/11 an inside
job?
when will those walmarts
be turned into internment camps?

america
you manufacture paranoia
shelf after shelf
aisle after aisle
section after section
department after department
store after store after region
after enterprise

america
take my tickets
i brought my swimsuit
i want to ride the preschool to prison
pipeline

plea bargain my politics

mass incarcerate my poems

america
you can’t fall asleep sober
if you even fall asleep at all
you keep counting sheep
like you’re tallying days
on a prison cell

your eyes are automatic doors
that slam shut behind us all

america
your bloodsteam is refugees
you’re just too intoxicated to see it

you’re so busy building walls
you forgot to put in a door

you’re so busy campaigning for president
you’ve got not time for your family

you’re the kind of ugly
that happens over the course of a lifetime

you
america
are a pyramid scheme

you
america
beg for food
while you choke to death
on your thick privilege

you
are the one
who was born so late
to sing the world to sleep

america
you pray like russian roulette
to a god who can’t hear you
over the sound
of your own
gunshots

COPYRIGHT BRICE MAIURRO 2016

Author: brice maiurro

Denver poet. Author of Stupid Flowers, out now through Punch Drunk Press.

4 thoughts on “AMERICA”

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