Friday, April 28, 2017


little girl lost junkie america

we saw her
stumbling along union square
pulling her hair in and out of a ponytail
drunk, my wife said
probably on meth, i added
then she was in our train on 14th street
shouting at a group of latinos on the platform
fucking arabs! she said
go back to your country!
trump’s going to send you all back!
when she realized they weren’t arab
she started shouting
fucking spics!
trump’s coming for you!
the people on the platform were trying
to hold one of the girls back from coming on the train at her
she was crying and shouting
don’t you disrespect my people!
this is america in 2017
this has always been america
and will probably always be america
when the train doors closed the meth-head
turned to all of us
don’t you judge me, she said
pulling her hair in and out of that ponytail
you don’t know what i’ve been through
but still you didn’t have to say that
one black lady said
you didn’t have to say his name
and by canal street meth-head was fighting with her too
calling her a nigger and telling her to go back to africa
that greasy hair in and out of that ponytail
threatening to strangle the woman
the next time they saw each other
when we pulled away from the station
she prowled around the train car like a caged animal
that’s right, she said,
you don’t know who you’re fucking with
face red and cracked
that hair in and out in and out in and out
like my wife and i had seen her back in union square
another drunk
another meth-head
another vile racist
little lost girl junkie america
living on the streets
while the president plays golf in his winter mansion
on the taxpayer’s dime
cutting social welfare programs
and blowing up iraqi cities
over a tepid diet pepsi and an overcooked streak
little lost girl junkie america
in her land full of plenty of scapegoats
y’all don’t know what i’ve been though, she spat
then she turned and smacked her head
against the train doors
over and over and over again
until she stopped like a dazed prize-fighter
a trickle of blood on her forehead
and slid all the way down to the train car floor
knocked out loaded on her ripped duffle bag
one hand inside a pocket, searching for something
as the q train left the subway tunnel
and manhattan burned bright behind us on  the bridge
a gilded palace
a rich man’s playground
just another american prison
for all the good people to call their home
or rip each other the shreds

--John Grochalski


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