america

america- where a person can legally purchase an AR-15
but definitely can’t make decisions about a tiny cluster of cells
in their own body

america- where high school is a cop monitoring the hallways
yelling we should get to class ’cause
who’s got the gun

america, where the principal vetoed the gay-straight alliance
calling it “not in line with community values”
america where the rapists walk free

america where time is spent interrogating trans children
for simply playing sports but never the white man
who openly declares his plan to commit mass murder in a racist
          manifesto

america where we don’t know if the house will fall on us
and the most dangerous time is after the storm–
the down power wires keeping us in

america where relief agencies deliver supplies to an inaccessible
          location
we have to drive there but people are stuck
in their homes, like quarantine with water at our feet

america where the news broadcaster interviews someone who says
the answer is that we have to speak up
We just have to talk about it.

As if speaking up while bodily autonomy is totally disregarded
hasn’t already been encoded as silence,
as if we can just untangle the down power wires by ourselves

like these wires are some string a cat messed up
and if we’re real patient we can knit a hat
you know, america, they say if you drink water in your dreams

it makes you less thirsty, they say the poets are all talk
as if our electric hats are failing us for not magically transforming
into shovels and digging us out of this mess