America is a racoon who has gotten her head caught in a bent-up coffee can
And the more she tries to pry herself loose the deeper it cuts
How did I get here? she asks herself now that she’s stuck
But never bothered to ask before Where am I going? or Why?
The coffee can probably won’t kill her, but it will be uncomfortable for a while
And when she finally does pry her head loose, there will be lasting damage
Some blood, some fur, whiskers, maybe even an ear
And if you’re that fur or that whisker or that ear
It’s as good as being dead because you’re now cut-off from everything
And will linger, helpless, until you desiccate and die
Lonely and forgotten by the silly girl who saw a shiny coffee can
And thought it would be fun to stick her head into it for a while


“Sacrifice” © DL Polonsky


Brandon Beck is an Assistant Federal Public Defender in Lubbock, Texas. In addition to his law degree, Brandon Beck holds a B.A. in classics from the University of Texas at Austin and a master’s degree in religion from Boston University. His work has appeared in Three Line Poetry, The Texas Tribune, Texas Tech Law Review, and South Texas Law Review.

DL Polonsky is a Boston area artist, writer, and filmmaker. His caricatures have appeared in The Boston Herald and His written work includes the children’s book The Letter Bandits from T.B.W. Books.