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Poem responding to Colin Kaepernick controversy:

Star-spangled sinner
~for C.K.

O, say can you see the bodies in the streets?
Red planets rising through draped white sheets.
Sold out stadiums still stand and applaud,
still hold hands over pride-swole hearts,
while the homeless hunt half-eat hotdogs
from dumpsters
and beg for change in parking lots.

Is this too preachy for you?
America the beautiful bowl of bloody piss?
America the drone strike bomber of the innocent?
America, where a busted tail light
is a cancer gone undiagnosed.
Where they watch hundreds drown
in capsized boats just off the Turkish coast
and do nothing except turn up their nose.
America, the Christ-like Nation of narcissists.

When were we ever great?
When we split the backs of the blacks we owned?
When we drove the Natives from their homes,
into cages, whiskey bottles and worthless fields?
When we were the first to drop the Bomb?
When we told women they couldn’t decide
if part of themselves should live or die,
who could buy land, who could vote?
When we poisoned our own water supplies
and left the destitute in their slums?

If you want me to stand and sing your song,
give me something to sing for!
The redwoods are burning, soon to be gone.
The tundras are thawing, soon to be gone.
A state of emergency is more than a flood.
America is dying.
Are you still in love?

colin k

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