Of my self-creation is this legend
of my betrayals, my disloyalty to my origins.
Of my once and future past,
of rajas and gilded palaces,
of brown sailors building empires, I lay no claim.
I lay no claim to your founding fathers,
no claim to pearl divers and tattooed pirates
jumping ship to grow a colony in Louisiana.
What I’ve inherited is this feeding frenzy
for rainbow, rainbow, rainbow,
this multigenerational spectral light show
inducing a diarrhea of bullets; and no arrests.
I’m the youngest son of a youngest son,
a second baseman in the minor leagues,
a family trope deputized to react
and bleed—whose only compensation
is his own capacious longing.
Hand me your gun, America,
and let my body be the soundtrack
to the spectacle of our recent events.
If only this miasmic island of sundown
towns and Bible colleges, of folksy neighbors
with their hiya doin’
gestures and holding
keys to the kingdom come raining down
with molten rocks upon this megalomania
of abandoned cities, of cowslip turnips, of holy JesuschildrenofAmerica
, of thee I sing!
Call me Mr. Gone / who’s done made / some other plans.
All that remains is nostalgia
and this aching torso of blue.
Copyright © 2019 by Eugene Gloria. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.