A Public Sphere for Poetry, Politics, and Nature
eating fried plantains cold in a morning motel in a town burned by the confederacy if I drive east there's fifty-one thousand skeletons resting in pieces underground if I follow antietam creek south I'll find another twenty thousand if I breathe the air without mask I may join the five hundred thousand a number growing by the day still, as I follow these roads I find symbols of a fallen illegitimate government hanging everywhere sometimes next to the flag of the country it tried to secede from, as if it's possible to carry two divergent systems to the well of democracy sometime it flies alone or with colonial flag pairing don't tread on me as if two widely different revolutions meant the same thing in one case it was inside an american flag like a superman s like a hidden heartbeat and maybe that is most true this is pennsylvania there were no copperheads here until now america your wars are endless but none is longer than the one you've had with yourself still there is no shining city your ideals are empty all epaulets and piping these future sons and daughters of the confederacy they are playing victims in a system failed they side with those that exploit in an economic system built to exploit although I'm a student of history I've lost my taste for war civil or otherwise there is no glory in dying there is less in exploitation I don't know how to tell that to the ghosts that wade in the blood rivulets that once rushed to creeks johnny reb the cause is lost my eyes are tired tired of seeing the glory of the coming of the lord there is still no vintage in grapes, in wrath just a terrible swift sword this truth is stumbling there is no marching on
Copyright 2021 Jason Baldinger
Jason Baldinger is from Pittsburgh and misses roaming the country writing poems. His newest book is A Threadbare Universe (Kung Fu Treachery Press). His work has been published widely across print journals and online. You can hear him read his work on Bandcamp and on lp’s by The Gotobeds and Theremonster.