American Carnage Tra-la-la

One faraway Facebook friend
I sort of hardly know
posts news of Cielo Vista in El Paso
and asks, Where’s next?

After the Garlic Festival, the stalls
redolent with gunpowder
and the creole buds that fry up like wine,
the black garlic so sweet it could be cake,

we figured Walmart would be safe—
with the goods from China
we’ll swallow whole, no matter the tariff,
in our desire to have them cheaper and soon–

the baseball caps that almost fit
our giant American heads,
the tee shirts that will shrink
to the size of placemats once they’re washed.

And the color TVs with the all-American names
like Sylvania, a light unto the nations,
and Emerson, reminding us of the self-reliance
we’re sometimes known to take a little far

like hunting alone, down the frozen food aisles,
such bounty all ready for the microwave: Hot Sale, $49.99,
1200 Watts, Aisle 7 for any who come with cash.
Border wall or no, we’ll take their bucks.

This is his American Carnage, after all.
Where’s next? Dayton, Odessa–here and on and on–
and coming soon to a town near you.
You had to be there, someone always used to say.

Hey, you gotta be patient. You will.

Alan Walowitz’s poems have been nominated for a Pushcart Prize in 2017 and 2018 . He’s a Contributing Editor at Verse-Virtual, an Online Community Journal of Poetry. His chapbook, Exactly Like Love, was published by Osedax Press and his full-length, The Story of the Milkman and other poems, is available from Truth Serum Press. Alan teaches at Manhattanville College. Read other articles by Alan, or visit Alan's website.