The American Disease

I was sick.
I had the American Disease.
I took the pills they pushed,
ate the foods they advertised,
bought the creams and the sprays
and the fancy little ribbons wrapped around them.

I didn’t ask questions.

I sailed through a sea of drive-thru windows
and 2-for-1 specials.
The alternative was too expensive,
too difficult,
too weird.

The alternative makes you an outcast.
The alternative makes you strange.

I was sick.
I bought the pretty potions.
I gave lip service to protecting a planet
that I never gave a sideways glance.

I was diseased.
Between my body and mind
I can’t tell the chicken from the egg.
A mouthful of arsenic, the taste of a cage.
Food they wouldn’t feed their families.
Food they wouldn’t feed their pets.
I devoured it down to the marrow.
Stripped the earth to its bones
with apathy and ignorance.

The gas confirmed it.
It’s cohorts – the tubes and beeps –
refused to be silent.
‘You have it,’ they said.
‘The American Disease.’
‘They filled you with venom;
You- The Fly.
Flapping your wings won’t save you now.
But Flap them!
Flap them furiously!
Fill them with all of your hate and despair and rage.
Let them explode out of the barrel.
A scream with no direction.

Somebody help me.
Anybody help me.
I’m Sick!
And if I’m not now, I will be.
If I’m not now, I already am.
Deep Down.

I ate the lies they fed me.
Drank the overwhelming atmosphere of grief.
I rose up, and up and up.

I Rise Up.
I make mountains out of mountains.
I start the climb from the bottom.

I had the American Disease.
My words are the barrel.
I take aim.

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