Missed Connections

I noticed you behind the fat Chinese guy.
We have a history, I know, and I’m somewhat
Sorry about that. I’ll send you six swift boats
To make up. How about if we make love, again,
With my tonnage on top, again. I miss your pho.
[Uncle Sam to Miss Saigon]

Passing by, I couldn’t help but see you being shoved
By the fat Chinese guy. Next time, call me and I’ll come,
Or maybe I won’t, who knows, for I’m half owned by
That same obese asswipe who stopped buying your
Bananas over the Scarborough Shoal tussle.
[Uncle Sam to Luzon Palawan Mindanao]

Seeing you dumpster diving the other day, I meant
To say hello and toss you a quarter, but the Secret
Service wouldn’t allow it. Plus, it would look phony,
For I did shove you out into the cold years ago.
Had to do it, or I wouldn’t have made it this far, so
Just be happy for your old buddy, as you chew
Wet french fries and suck on leftover ice.
[Barack Obama to his soul]

Excuse me, my English no good, sucks ass,
But I see you all day long, every day, pleasing
Yourselves in the office, living room, bedroom,
Bathroom, with your pig pictures and videos,
And your tubs of pig, chicken and cow, and
I can’t help but see you blown up from the sky,
By your machine, like I was, by your machine.
[A Yemeni drone victim to the American public]

Dead broke, you buy the commercials promising
An asskicking future, plus applause and gratitude
From your compatriots, but soon they’ll have you
Despised, abused and shot at, by your own even.
[The ghost of Pat Tillman to an Army recruit]

I know it’s a long shot, but I’ve been trying
To look you in the eyes and speak slowly,
And listen to each of your inflections, amid
The cacophony of this madhouse where even
The tiniest man cannot help but bully and bluster,
Where crass power is the only currency, where
A sneering boy rides a dead man’s cock
To add ghost inches to his petty fame.

Linh Dinh is the author of two books of stories, five of poems, and a novel, Love Like Hate. He's tracking our deteriorating social scape through his frequently updated photo blog, Postcards from the End of America. Read other articles by Linh.