The Sodomite is Dead!

Philadelphia’s Market
street continues underwater
and onto Delaware’s eastern bank
where empty structures are no longer
stores in designated places
along the four lane formerly city
street [this is no longer a city]
with no fear of getting hit [it’s already hit]
on its own accord the blood moon once full
bled out and yet its gray visage remains
if only because of parting clouds
and in that instance poetry is seen
by some the few walking this still street.

What liquid courses
through our veins tonight
Walt Whitman?
As ghosts stride
by your beloved Delaware
they try to catch a glimpse
of your penultimate abode
only 200 yards south of Market
and yet the view is obstructed
by the Panopticon prison
rising as one of countless
towers, this one jutting out in the cluttered
but abandoned Camden air.

What thoughts course
through ghosts’ minds
of you tonight Walt Whitman?
Someone built a fair, tents, rides, and all
on the former foundation of another prison
directly north of the big blue bridge.
Imagine the revelry the prison was only torn
down a few years ago and now it’s a party.
America’s screaming drunk children
revitalize the cities kick out the residents,
redistribute the poor not the wealth.
Prisoners shipped beyond
the suburbs in privacy
not so subtle slavery what do you think
Walt Whitman?
How long is the party going for?
Will we overstay our welcome?

There are no peaches left in Camden’s Market
no penumbras for you to fondle, what fun is there
in eyeing the now jobless homeless grocery boy?

“The sodomite is dead!” they said and still
the phantom mob stands
on what used to be known as Mickle Street
when they heard news of your death
the city rejoiced and since then America
has changed the name of your street
to MLK Boulevard in mock honor
and all the incarcerated are thinking of you
Walt Whitman even if they don’t know
it, our sinful American saint.

Rise from your gray tomb
renounce manifest destiny
renounce racism
renounce the empire
so that we may begin again
bathed in fresh morning dew.


Find Sean online. 

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