Jasper Johns, Flag (Moratorium), 1969
Jasper Johns, Flag (Moratorium), 1969

I want to go on a road trip through your belly

find dirt along the Ohio River thick with skeletons

of abandoned steel mills and somewhere the footprint

of my grandfather’s old childhood home


maybe in a gas station in Indiana, Nebraska or South Dakota

I’ll meet some fifth graders playing catch with an aerosol can

their father’s hate sprayed in wet gold

across the doors of their uncle’s abandoned hot dog stand


a waitress refills my coffee cup no charge with a wink

in an old diner out west in Wyoming with a Trump sign stuck

to the front window with white plaster tape

I want to ask her if she ever read my favorite childhood story


“Girls Can Do Anything”

run a scalpel through an aching chest as the monitor hums

pilot eight hundred people over the planet’s churning waves

or, one day, represent our nation as President


I was given this book by my father’s friend in Phoenicia, New York

after his daughter grew out of it

now it belongs to my sister who shouts the title

at the boys in kindergarten when they don’t pick her for Captain


in their courtyard soccer pick up game