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Monday, May 08, 2017


by Katherine Smith

President Donald Trump stood alongside House Republicans in the Rose Garden Thursday to applaud the narrow passage of legislation to repeal and replace Obamacare. The bill, also known as the American Health Care Act, aims to effectively gut health care coverage for millions, cut Medicaid funding by 25 percent, and allow states to deny coverage for a slew of pre-existing conditions. —Mother Jones, May 4, 2017

Suspended in the blue horizon like a pale blue sea creature
we sing.  We sing of crown vetch rising from ditches like a minor god
that will still be here in a billion years, a music
we make each day. We believe in our solidity
like sea creatures under the ocean
in their geometric palaces made entirely of mucus,
whirling shells, transparent rooms that filter water
to feed pinkie sized larva. We build our cathedrals,
in love with monuments, marble columns,
the Nautilus of our constitution. In the Rose Garden
Americans have dragged a palace from under the water—
two children sleeping under a blanket on a beach
tended by a woman with a brain tumor who will die in a week—
heaved it onto the thorns, drip under collapsed walls.

Katherine Smith’s publications include appearances in Poetry, Cincinnati Review, Missouri Review, Ploughshares, Southern Review and many other journals.  Her short fiction has appeared in Fiction International and Gargoyle. Her first book Argument by Design (Washington Writers’ Publishing House) appeared in 2003. Her second book of poems Woman Alone on the Mountain (Iris Press), appeared in 2014. She teaches at Montgomery College in Maryland.