Nephew

Body bags,
upside down flags
and nametags
“Hello, my name is Nephew…”
I lost my mind
fighting for the blue
white, and red
now, even I’m dead
inside
nowhere to run
and I can’t hide
the truth
ignorance is ingrained
in our youth
trained to fight tooth
and nail
and the ballots in the mail
check here
or there
we don’t care
we win both ways
see,
democracy pays
and your grandma prays
for you
get back in line
start marking time
let’s go see
this thing through
hold Caesar’s cloak
he’s got to go
shake babies
and kiss hands
or we’ll feed you
to the lions
with your family
in the stands
don’t you cry
for help now
dry your tears up
with that flag
and why’s it upside down
we’ll put you
in a body bag
and drag you to
the Zakim Bridge
and toss you in
the dirty water
we’ll tell the press
you pledged allegiance
to Muqtada al-Sadr
or we’ll say
you trained with ISIS
your Uncle’s words
will be the proof
and we had to
stop you early
you were acting
quite aloof
they’ll spoof you
on SNL
and then you’ll surely
rot in hell
for betraying
our trust
crush your spirit
we must
make you ashes
and dust
and the rust belt
melts from the heat
as we kill
the Doctor’s dream
on the streets
paved with old bones
recorded on cell phones
blocked off with orange cones
and bullets are the new nooses
duck hunter games
and grey goose
bottle
service
at the chapel
I promise it’s not poisoned
eat this apple-
jack booted
Main Street looted
another kid shooted
whoops, I mean shot
stomach in knots
apple pie rots
beneath the liberty tree
rotting freedom
ain’t free
sea to shining
seeing ghosts
eating toast
with butter on the top
one fish
two fish
hop on pop
beaten by a cop
he got off easy
could have been shot
saw the red dot
but he was done up
in white face
and he looked like
the right race
so they spared him
looked more like Huckleberry
than Jim
it’s more sink
than swim
the reaper’s love life’s grim
he works non-stop
because bullets fly
and bombs drop
from the sky
he can’t afford
just 9-to-5
no time to hang out
in a dive
and pick up chicks
so he relies on Tinder pics
snapped in the mirror
black and bones
shot with iPhones
but the pictures don’t matter
proof of death
changes nothing
fat ladies
won’t even sing
won’t accept a diamond ring
too bloody
doesn’t fit right
no use in trying
to fight
drawn to the light
like a moth to flame
still finding out
who we can blame
pointing fingers
and toes
have them line up
in rows
will the crows
remember you?
will Jesus help you
make it through?
will you remember
what to do?
glue the pieces
back together
hunker down
it’s stormy weather
baby,
it’s getting cold outside
and there’s no place
we can hide
so this might be
our final ride
the donkey’s limping
down the road
the load is too heavy
should have bought a Chevy
American made muscle
bet your ass
like Charlie Hustle
selling ice all over town
I see your flag
is upside down
yes, I no longer
dress right, dress
because we’re living
in distress
regress
fall off the wagon
stop tagging me
in pictures
wagging your finger
reciting scripture
Goddamn you
and your lies
it’s morning
open up your eyes
aligator tears
your uncle cries
as he’s lying
on his death bed
still feeding you circuses
with stale bread
well, fed
the masses still comply
what now,
your uncle has just died…?

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