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Monday, November 21, 2016


by Lyndi O'Laughlin

Image source: Loyal White Knights

Someone put an Amazon box
with a dirty bomb
under the Wizard of Oz’s throne,
blowing millions of barefaced replicas
into a blameless wind,

some lined-up right now
outside the local tattoo parlor,
needles buzzing over the raw flesh
of “Stars and Stripes Forever”.

The Victory Klavalkade Klan Parade is
planned for December, pale guys
and the women who love them
will wave from the beds of
pick-up trucks slithering down
a slick shiny boulevard in
North Carolina, and light will try to glint
off the gun metal barrels of dusty rifles
hanging on racks in back windows;
confetti and balloons will thrill
the children of the children and
maple trees along the parade route
will blow backwards into
the indifferent faces of crows,

and there is so much joy
around me that I turn away,
walk myself into the ocean,
breath salt water and fish scales,
stroll by anemones and sea stars
hiding under vast islands of
Huggies, Big Mac wrappers,
condoms and water bottles.

I’ll nap in a kelp bed, wake to
my own whimpers and howls
bubbling forth like the bays of
a three-legged red bone hound
tethered underwater to a coral reef,
head straight back, mouth an open gash,
seven billion balls of air bubbling forth.

It’s a comfortable enough seat,
this rocky outcrop, and I hardly
have to crane my neck at all
to see the soft underbelly
of that great white shark,
circling the shipwreck on my left.

Nothing to be done today
but keen bad poems,
let them rise in bubbles that
break the surface with a feeble crack
like the chipped edge
of a flat oar,
knowing I will never again
have to wonder—
how the Holocaust was
able to happen in the first place.

Lyndi O'Laughlin has a degree in nursing, but spends her time writing poetry from her home in Kaycee, Wyoming. As a progressive living in a rural, conservative area, poetry has become her way of expressing views that question the status quo.