so what do we make of the states
with their highways
and public universities

amid the constellations of cities
and the pulsing veins
of commerce

from the English /
New York, New Jersey, New Hampshire, Rhode Island
the royalties of Georgia, Carolinas, Virginia (East and West),
and Maryland

from the French /
Louisiana (the ubiquitous king) and Vermont (green mountain)

from the Spanish /
Florida (Easter), Colorado (red), New Mexico, Montana (mountains)

from the uniquely American identification /
Indiana and Washington

from the native strain /
Massachusetts, Connecticut, Delaware
Tennessee, Kentucky, Ohio
Michigan, Wisconsin, Minnesota
Illinois, Iowa, Nebraska, Kansas
Arkansas, Missouri, Alabama, Mississippi
Oklahoma, Texas, Arizona
Utah, Nevada, Idaho, Oregon

and then California – half Spanish, half Indian
with its dreams of gold

as the complementary opposite of blue

rock, as a balance to air
with any sense of beauty
or hope

from an orderly life, instead

greed produces trash

that’s not a fork in the road
but a spoon in the street

still hot from the flame


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