everything American
Emily Waples

a.
contains ‘a Whitmanian strain,’ as bloom
would call out caustically from Harvard:
a linguistically transmitted disease.
I imagine you, land lord, air lord,
mixing your seed with unclaimed earth, proliferating
Nothing. Tell me, on sperm and words:
more of which can a teaspoon contain?
Let’s measure our lives out / in the answer.

b.
Geneology of verse, free,
the land of (Everything, American)—
to explore the various uses—of dashes.
—even my unknowing 20th century cunt
is an assumption of yours, sir,
and every Adam belonging to me
shall belong too;
when I was Eve, I bit down willingly.

c.
What dreams? I have of you tonight,
Allen Ginsberg, glowing grown grotesque and artificial
in supermarket light; Western Pennsylvania awaits the
second coming of sunlight. I was born there, of
parents born (there is no there)there. half of
me at least named after Emily D—
This, friend, is the anxiety of in-
utero, longing it seems to have been

d.
birthed of air. To have been
assumed spontaneously as wings. In just—
yes everything has
been I know, continental and claimed.
Still, I sing my tis of
thee; I celebrate accordingly.
[she opens, a mouth-
ful, of moss, and leaves].


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