The Last Day of America

By Benjamin Grimes

Featured Art: Washington Crossing the Delaware By Emanuel Leutze

I wake up on the last day of America.
There are sirens but a long way off:
I cannot tell if America’s last ambulance
is on its way or has already packed
the last emergency of America into its hull.
In the yard I stand inside American sunlight.
On tiptoe I creep through American grass, I climb
the fence to see what the American sky is doing.
It is making the last cloud, a cloud the shape
of America but not the shape of America
from a map. It is the shape of America as a child
concentrating tight around a crayon might draw America
in the last American kindergarten class. I want
to take a picture to remember the shape, the cloud,
the last day of America but buzz buzz buzz: here comes
the last American phone call. It is an American robot,
calling to let me in on all the Last Day of America
Big Box Giveaways. I agree to the last follow-up
email survey of America to show my appreciation
for the robot’s wherewithal & tact. I click 10 & 10 & 9
& hope it adds up to a raise when the robot’s hauled in
for the last American performance review. Of the last
humiliations of America even robots will not be spared.
For breakfast I toast the last American Pop-Tart
& head out for the last American errands.
There are many like me, wandering the aisles
as the last ghosts of America, unsure what it is
we’re haunting. There are many like me, eager
for one last peek behind the American screen.
I bring home the last shovel of America
& set to digging the last American hole.
I make a list of my ideas, the last ideas of America,
& bury it as deep as I can dig.

Benjamin Grimes received his MFA from Randolph College. He recently joined
the Muzzle Magazine staff as a review writer and was named a finalist for the
Sewanee Review Poetry Contest. Find him writing poems and letters from his
home in western Massachusetts.

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