America the Beautiful

In Charlottesville they wore
chinstrap bombs that turned
out to be nothing but dust and stone.

In Sacramento, thrown like rag dolls,
the flies evolved long, sucking mouths;

in eternal darkness, reaching, if pushed,
for the voice command in your throat. 

In St. Louis, the bodies leave no footprints
on the land, and the nesting cliffs become
battlegrounds, as they always have, wailing
behind the blood of leopard seals.

If not in Dallas, then somewhere else,
a continent crowding shoulder to shoulder.

George Cassidy Payne is a poet from Rochester, NY. His work has been included in such publications as the Hazmat Review, Moria Poetry Journal, Chronogram Journal, Ampersand Literary Review, the Angle at St. John Fisher College, and 3:16 Journal. George’s blogs, essays and letters have appeared in the USA Today, Wall Street Journal, the Atlantic, the Havana Times, the South China Morning Post, the Buffalo News, and more. 

See all his poems on Tea House here.

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