America the Beautiful

By Taryn Ziegler


What if we

have it all wrong if we think we have

the key but the door has, in actuality,

always been open if the color red doesn’t

really represent anything bad after all and

the heft of your wallet is an empty indicator

of the meter of your supposed happiness

if we are

missing something

As a nation as a people as a global enterprise

striving forward churning the water hum-hum

like the whir of the machines pumping

out green and gold smiles matching the

salesman’s wiles how could you

do this                       to us

who are you, and what do you want?


It’s dark here but what I can hear is the

sound of my childhood piggybank clanking

and jangling with the spoils of my collection

I hoard these things gleefully but I don’t

really know


I fight, wage war, with the numbers on my screen

creeping up dropping down occasionally transforming

in my hand to paper and metal but I

give, give it away and I grab, grab

for it



And in other corners you are not even allowed

freedom to piss when you please. my god you

can’t even piss when you please and when

you leave the screams of the machines

follow you all the long way home merging

and converging with those of your child



And some are starving, and some are marveling

at the obscenity of it all and then turning

and burning their own souls in the fire


As we walk to our dinner spot

we crush countless heads under our feet

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