You could just pretend
it’s a united country.
That has worked for you for years.
You could tell yourself everything
from the ice cream truck to the singer at the ball game
was singing our song.
You could admire the colors in the flag
without ever conjuring the words
“bleeding out,” “erasure,” or “suffocation.”
You could stay home just long enough
to claim it’s a hardship not to work
at the job you whine about seven days a week
but you’ll do it for your family
and your country — and what
are your neighbors’ names, anyway?
You could watch the gunners and bombers
and sigh about how the country’s fallen so far
and never even think of bounties placed on scalps,
a Klansman serving in the Senate for decades,
murderers laughing at their trials while in the courtroom,
everyone forgetting all of that happened
because that’s what “united” means.
United in memory loss. United in the hope
that this too will pass. One nation under a fog.