Battleground State

Even in poverty they mug the dank air.

Even while poor they hold sweaty hands

under bed sheets damp with new dirt—

make more babies for the coming years.


Babies with fists full of French fries & Big Macs.

Babies dipping & spitting & voting with confidence.


Even in poverty they vote for red meat.

Even while poor they vote with clenched teeth under sun-burned lips—

make voice on street corners to passing traffic & closed windows.


Even in poverty they huddle together their flimsy logic

of old patterns & thrice-blessed rhetoric—because it

was inherited.  It was given as a gift by parents.


Even in poverty they buy bumper stickers.

Even while poor they raise right hands in the

din of praise to Him for the right to hug old

flags that don’t belong to them.


Even in poverty they place new bullets under Christmas trees.

Even while poor they plant the new stations for a new cross:


A gift for a new Christ, so

He can reload His AR-15

without pause.


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