Editor’s Note: This is part 5 of a 5-part series of poems titled Red Summer. The rest of the series can be found here.
Content warning: ideation of violence
we sit around the table
and break bread
I accidentally call the day new years
and one of them says “don’t you dare disrespect this country”
we all laugh because
he is joking,
I know this because
we are friends,
and yet I fantasize about shoving my fork through his hand for the rest of dinner.
I imagine pissing on every flag in a mile radius
I imagine standing on the waves of the Atlantic
and firing a rocket launcher at the mayflower
I imagine drowning the survivors before they ever saw land.
I spend this day, when we celebrate this country’s continued existence
with my Black rage chomping at the bit
so while I contemplate letting it free to ruin dinner
I imagine plucking the fireworks from the sky
placing each one in the home of the family that sent it up
and watching the countryside burn.
how’s that for independence,
how’s that for freedom?
I do not (ever) calm down
but I smile and laugh
and we ride the train home
and America continues