this is America

this is America

the rainbird cut the night in two
at four am, Oct. 1rst.
ghost clouds & the night wind
chestnuts conk the concrete like godsong

she’s not held at US Customs for the first time in seven years. she offered the officer her grapes “what do u think i am – a fruit cop?” but the young Latino officer said “you’re a snowbird,” stamped her file, told her to enjoy herself

she bursts down Highway 99 like a Zeppelin, her spirit cries for leaving

“i don’t want to be a suitcase!” skies out to southern hollers to catch some tunes

Rita Wong, preventing mass extinction of the human race, has been released from jail

Greta Thurnberg’s mural in Alberta has been defaced

blue sky in her eye, the sun cuts through trees, signs like dyke access & $100 fine for animal abandonment.

on oct 2, it is 5 am & black out. she prays like a bugger that she doesn’t run out of gas on the highway in the dark outside of Eugene. when she finally reaches the gas station, the attendant says “did you know the back door of your van is open?” she sees that a bunch of her bags have fallen out : her hundred dollar bills, her passport. at that moment, a fella drives up & says, if you’re looking for some bags, there are some out there at the intersection.” she found them stacked neatly at the side of the road, everything intact. this is America

while she retrieved them, her dog Gaia scarfed down her whole bag of teriyaki jerky

her rellies in Reno gleefully use paper plates & cups so they have no dishes to do. this is America. for much of her mother’s life, her mother did not know she had siblings here

they have shut down the recycling program in Phoenix due to expense

& in the dog park, at her new RV resort in Apache Junction, Arizona, her neighbor said he moved here cuz’ he didn’t want to be a minority anymore

in the hottub, she discusses getting dental work in Mexico. a chap said “Mexicans have worked for me for 35 years & if you seen where they put their hands, you would not want them in your mouth.”

putting her bathing suit on is like fighting with an elastic

and she’s lost her name tag

couples boogie by in golf carts, some tie on their flying shoes
cars must go 10 miles per hour, but the golf carts go much faster

her pal Peg dropped her, saying that they are ‘unequally yoked’ & she does not ‘approve of her lifestyle’ (after peg has been a lesbian for 37 years)

people are trying to set her up with older widowed men in the park. she is thinking of saying she is separated

Trilby’s cat Scout was taken by a coyote right in front of her

she writes this outside at 12 pm in Mexico’s stolen territory, pineapple for breaky, jicama for lunch. she sees who built this country, who continues to, right here in this gated community

on TV commercials, girls are holding tools like guns to rip down houses

in another commercial, a girl ducks & covers with her bulletproof backpack, the caption reads “preparing for the active shooter”

driving down Palo Verde road with her BC plates yesterday, a man held a gun out the passenger’s window of his truck at her

this is America

to quote her friend Jen Currin “But that doesn’t mean anything.”


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  1. Have fun in your living iplace that has warmer winters which has reeled you back.. We can see our breath at night in Vancouver. We are all enjoying a week of sunshine, colourful leaves and hot meals north of 60. See you when our weather cycle returns after winter has come and gone. And today, it’s blue and green recycle pickup day in my hood! 🙂


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