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The Fourth of July, a Pantoum

Nicholas Powers Jul 7

The flag like a curtain, a wizard behind it, counting money
an idea colored red, colored white, colored blue
of Americans cheering independence
drunk and dancing around a fire, the smoke of war

an idea colored red, colored white, colored blue
fireworks scar eyes with light, we scream
drunk and dancing around a fire, the smoke of war
we blow from our mouths, it tastes like victory

fireworks scar eyes with light, we scream
sweat mixing in sweat, kissing illegal strangers
we blow from our mouths, it tastes like victory
to burn the future of the world

sweat mixing in sweat, kissing illegal strangers
who arrive from broken nations to salute our flag
to burn the future of the world
as the memory of home becomes swallowed ash

who arrive from broken nations to salute our flag
undocumented faces, hiding from view, their children now ours
as the memory of home becomes ash
the flag like a curtain, a wizard behind it, counting money.

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