We the People (American Lament)

We the People (American Lament)

Take a needle,

poke a hole in the 
American pipe dream,

and watch it all 
deflate. 

We the people 
never knew how to 

care for ourselves,
our neighbors,

let alone the ones that we
call strange.

We grasp with cowardice 
to table scraps 

of life, liberty, happiness,
like broken records 

that keep screeching 
“we are winning.”

We drench our dreams 
in destiny, like creamy 

white ranch sauce,
so manifest,

and love the hero’s journey 
like it’s ours.

We look, like children, 
for faith healers at the river

who can disappear our issues,
trip and fall 

in existential frantic rush
to save our souls.

We have our pick of saviors,
never fail 

to choose false ones,
while real ones we 

twist violently to make them 
what they never meant to be. 

We hold free speech
so precious 

as we shout down all 
the voices that might teach us,

ride our sacred cows 
like soapboxes

up to the ghost town 
on the hill

that never was a beacon
to the watching world.

We pile our things
around us in a huddle

as though they could
save. 

And if a rag-clothed rabbi
spit, made mud,

and offered it 
to put upon our eyes,

might we be brave enough
to open them?

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