On this mountain,
we built likenesses of ourselves
as human beings.
We sent them down to the valley to mingle
with the townspeople.
We went to Dairy Queen, ordered
a Blizzard, bought Megadeth
at the music store, and visited Army gun shows
that exhibited tanks and other
to be one of them, for this and only this
made them happy.
We walked into banks
instead of robbing them.
We took out accounts in fake American names
and sipped free cucumber water.
We went to the movies
carrying tubs of popcorn and 22 liters
of Coke, and pretended we were beautiful
for two hours.
As we rode back up the mountain,
the radio played a country song
about football, pick-up trucks and rebel flags.
We were made to understand these things
An SUV drove across from us, with
an American family. In the front,
a husband and wife took a look
at us. I tried to read the husband’s lips.
I’m pretty sure he was saying, “Stay
away from our borders.”
In the back, a little freckle-faced boy
with a coonskin cap fired a pellet gun
at his kid sister—imagined killing her.
The Washington Monument
shoots up at night like a giant rocket ship to the moon.
The Lincoln Memorial glows majestically.
Dead Presidents stare out through stone eyes,
their heroic expressions rendered masterfully.
Arlington Cemetery overflows
with soldiers who died in their honor.
Rats in subway grates
raid garbage bins for half-eaten Chipotle burritos.
Tourists walk past homeless men
whose hands are swollen
like catcher’s mitts.
A new Whole Foods opens around the corner.
Liquor stores sell lottery tickets
and menthol cigarettes.
At Five Guys, a family huddles
over burgers and Cajun fries, peanut shells on the floor
swept away by Central American teenagers.
Their pimply-faced son
watches the teens work while he chews.