ruckus

By VAUGHN M. WATSON

Image of household objects

The United States

a rotor spins in concentric circles
the epicenter a DC street at dusk
even a military helicopter’s incessant droning
can’t wake this country to its circumstance

locals peer through the gaps in their blinds
trying to see what all the ruckus is about
deluding themselves at the same time from the precedent
this country has set for it:

corpses of color rotting
in a Brooklyn truck

centuries of American exceptionalism
culminating in myths
of immunity to an unknown pathogen

deregulated decades of corporations as people but
race as specter

years of Trump.

months into this crisis and
library gates remain closed
flags at half-mast
pockets empty 
storefronts shutter but stocks
soar like skyscrapers unpaused
by overeager governors
while Congress looks past her constituents
towards the prophesized price of oil

the ruckus comes from above, not below
it’s not in shattered displays or plywood signs splintered by rubber bullets,
it’s not in the screams or milk pooling beneath countless feet
it circles overhead
buzzing for a country’s imminent demise
and i hope this country hears it

Vaughn M. Watson is a New York-based writer. His work is published in Tahoma Literary Review and About Place, among several other literary journals and his short fiction has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize. He is currently working on Payaos, a cross-genre collection, while serving as the managing editor of Newtown Literary.

Photo by author.

ruckus

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