A Cross-Section of America
by Anya Sczerzenie
Throw a tack at the map, and see where it lands
In the crystal column skyscrapers of New York,
Or Louisiana’s verdant swampy ground,
In a hot piece of sun-baked Arizona,
Or a hush of pines in northern Maine,
What town will it land in? Will it be thrown so soft
It falls, or will it dent the wall behind it?
Will it be red, a blood-colored thumbtack,
Will it tear open the town it lands in?
Will the town bleed too?
Throw a knife at the map, and see where it lands
Will it land in a theater? A church? A school?
Will it cross-cut a path through the states,
Will it shake when it lands? Will it shudder?
Will it stick in the wall, will people remember?
Shoot a gun at the map, and see where it lands
Will it land in Florida? Connecticut? Colorado?
If a tack can punch once, and a knife can cut twice,
If a gun can shoot 90 rounds a minute,
Then what will happen when the smoke clears?
Will the towns bleed like wounds?