Volume 28, Number 3

We Need Another Language

Dear you, me, anyone,
so I got that action
letter request from
the NEA, you know,
the our budget's going
please write your senator
and save us
 email so
many got, and being
a concerned citizen,
I wrote Senator Flake
(honestly his real name
though who am I to talk,
really, look at the mess
my parents left me), well
I wrote this long letter
to my Senator Flake
whose slogan (not kidding
though I've got to stop these
asides this obsessional
me me me like some dead
confessional poet
because they're pretty much
all dead which is never
a good sign), anyway
as long as you're reading
this (hello? hello?), his
slogan is SUPER-CHEAP,
sic), so I wrote SUPER-
basically this long love
letter about the Arts
(ah, italics, shape used
to mean, to do, the light
wrist flick of the painter
hunched and frowning before
canvas, the sun setting)
about America,
about beauty, craft as
vocation, how the things
that can be counted don't
always count. I emailed
this expecting nothing
back, like how prayer works,
but what returned instead
was a poem also
about grace and beauty,
subject AMERICA
AT WAR, the enemy
you, me and anyone,
(©, sic), the aliens
incoming, everywhere,
all different from you,
me, anyone, and we
MUST pay NOW for MORE cops
and MORE soldiers, the walls
HIGHER, the missiles
OUR values are UNDER
SEIGE from those who HATE you,
me, anyone. And I
realized that we both loved
desperately the same
thing, a fantasy a
sweet delusion we called
America, that we
would fight to save this from
the Other, which is you,
me, anyone, and that
until words can be found
that mean everyone here
together, the action
letters will not be read,
the slogans unheard, words
themselves dissolving shapes,
loosened, lost in a tide
of you, me, anyone.

—Bern Mulvey