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#1

(I Am An American)



The June cement shouldered the sky.

I am an American.  A.

The fireworks come in July.


Wooden spoons and lemon sorbet.

I am an American.  M.

The sun won’t blind you on flag day.  


Our voices beat the chainlink fence.

I am an American.  E. 

Spider egg gum, twenty-five cents.  


M101, M103.

I am an American.  R.

Take the A/C/E to Chambers Street.  


I drew my name with yours, in tar.

I am an American.  I.

Barney worked the tap at his mom’s bar.


Some of these kids already survived.  

I am an American.  C.

The ones I won’t keep, will kiss my eyes.  


Summer ends in the Linden trees.  

I am an American.  A.

We will be one child, laid in the grave.  


Wooden spoons and lemon sorbet.

I am an American.  N.

The sun won't blind you on flag day.  


And horse-drawn will you go your way.



We will be one child, laid in the grave.  

I am an American.  I.

William, Morgan, Sarah and Jane. 


From now to then, only our names.  



The June cement shouldered the sky.

I am an American.  A.

The pilings called roll at low tide.  


Even here, we all smelled like hay.

I am an American.  M.

Forget me no more, child’s play.


And horse-drawn will you go your way.



Spider egg gum, twenty-five cents.  

I am an American.  A.

The sidewalks glint of fools gold, spent.


They come to the city for trouble, don't they?

I am an American.  N.

But if we're born to sin, it's heaven's shame.


The sun won't blind you on flag day.



The boys will fight, but still will cry.   

I am an American.  A.

Some of these kids already survived.

 

The children give what God will take.

I am an American.  M.

We walk behind Ms. Has No face.


Our voices beat the chainlink fence.

I am an American.  E. 

We fill the auditorium.


Take the A/C/E to Chambers Street.  

I am an American.  R.

We're hugged by rain and wooden seats.  


I drew my name with yours, in tar.

I am an American.  I.

Barney worked the tap at his mom’s bar.


The fireworks come in July.

I am an American.  C.

The ones I won’t keep, will kiss my eyes. 


Summer ends in the Linden trees.  

I am an American.  A.

M101, M103.


Yellow brick tiles, matte green paint.

I am an American.  N.

Hand in hand, our heads of whey.  


We will be one child, laid in the grave.