Anthem

In my American dream,
you started to sing
the national anthem,
but the words got lost,
and I had to rescue you
and throw an arm around
your little shoulder
just like Mo Cheeks did.
In my America, though,
the t-shirt guns were
aimed at us in case
we got anything wrong.
No one posted the video
on YouTube or made us
the feel-good story
on the local news.
Instead, you were sent
to Quebec to learn
the first seven lines
of “O Canada” in French,
and I was sent to
Mexico to coach
the Lechugueros.
I wrote you a postcard
each week telling you
not to forget what
the stars and stripes
had done for us—
blindfolded us,
spun us, and put
a stick in our hands.


Navigating Theta Waves

Everything you invent already exists,
like snow and Napoleon Blownapart.

One minute you’re sipping Coke with your eyes closed, 
the next you’re filing a patent for nightmare flavors.

It seems like nothing 
makes anyone’s mouth hang open anymore.

You have a tough time sleeping, 
your numb toes high in the air,

the bed’s top half buckled
under the weight of your brain—

so many ideas for travel pillows,
so little maritime.
 
________________________________________

Rob MacDonald lives in Boston and is the editor of the online journal Sixth Finch. His poetry has appeared in Octopus, notnostrums, H_NGM_N and other journals. Last New Death, a chapbook, is available from Scantily Clad Press.