Morning in America

Kenan Ince

and to the army he said bigger,

and to the Navy he said bigger,

I want more destroyers, I want more!


and to the Muslims he said

you are sand and I will make you

into glass. And the VP said


I can feel it too, and the Cabinet

said we can feel it too,

and something in us was filled.


And something was filled in you.

We held ourselves out,

tingling with safety, huddled


together for warmth.

It was as in the days

of wizards and gods:


the atmosphere shifted around him,

turned womblike and warm.

And the bombs were bigger,


and the destroyers were bigger

and the walls formed themselves

out of gravel on the borders,


and Brownsville was swept away

by a great wind, and the last hares

in Pakistan buried themselves


in the new glass. And he was glad,

and he said more, more!

And Houston went dry


and Alabama fizzled into the hot

winter sun. And the children who drank

from their families' new lakes


in Tallula or Eudora or anywhere

with the names of tragic

heroines lost their sight


and began to stain their clothing

the brown of the old Mississippi,

and mothers returned their children


to the river until they merged

into its stain. And bigger, he said,

make it bigger, and when the riots


blackened the casino-bright skylines

he said somebody take care of them,

and somebody did. And we did.


In our warmth we could fuse

hydrogen, sweep across the nation

like a solar flare, cleansing


all in our way. Our minds

were tidily made beds, houses with fireplaces

licking gently out toward him. The rallies,


the tent revivals, the planes booming

overhead, supersonic

in red, white, and blue:


we no longer had to hear

what we left behind.

And when morning came in America


it was a beautiful morning, so quiet,

not even the calling of birds. 



Kenan Ince is a mathematician, poet, and organizer from Denton, TX, living on occupied Shoshone, Paiute, Goshute and Ute territory (so-called Salt Lake City). Their work is forthcoming in Pleiades and has appeared in Word Riot and Permafrost, among others. They are the recipient of scholarships to the Antioch Writers’ Workshop and Lambda Literary Writers' Retreat and winner of the Utah Pride Center’s Poetry and Prose Contest.

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