American Shrine (a poem)

Traveling through America, in search of the Shrine

you know the one, mister, the place that encapsulates

our nation’s fears, dreams, triumphs + loathing –

some say the shrine is a shopping mall

Mother Church of Consumerism

but you know better

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Ten-Dollar Bill (a poem)

The woman asks me for ten dollars – she demands it

I’m reluctant, standing in a pock-marked city,

but feeling pity for her, as she frantically talks

her eyes yellow like harvest moons

her voice shrieks like an urban banshee –

the realities of poverty and addiction,

the rich getting fatter off broken backs.

I reach into my wallet, hand her a ten-dollar bill

she hugs me + hurries away, vanishing into the night,

and as I walk home, I wonder if I’ll ever need to

ask for my ten dollars back

(Photo by Vitaly Taranov on Unsplash)