For Your Own Good

We are sampling your DNA.
As you wait in line, download this app––
it guards against foreign agents and traitors.
Let us revel in this nation’s supremacy!
Our parades are monumental.
Our springs are eternal.

We know you.
We know your friends.
Fear not—there won’t be unrest.
No lawless protests marring our cities.
No menacing fists. No lies.
None of the media’s ill-founded zeal.

For your own good, be still now.
We protect you.
We take care of you.
We can discern your face in the crowd––
you are beautiful, a set of vibrant data,
your movements like the shiver of nerves.

Leonore Hildebrandt is the author of the poetry collections Where You Happen to Be, The Work at Hand, and The Next Unknown. Her poems and translations have appeared in the Cimarron Review, Harpur Palate, Poetry Daily, RHINO, and the Sugar House Review, among other journals. She was nominated several times for a Pushcart Prize. A native of Germany, Leonore lives “off the grid” in Harrington, Maine, and spends the winter in Silver City, New Mexico. She serves on the editorial board of the Beloit Poetry Journal. Read other articles by Leonore.