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Fourth of July

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Freedom is a rocket,
isn’t it, bursting
orgasmically over
parkloads of hot
dog devouring
human beings
or into the cities
of our enemies
without whom we
would surely
kill ourselves
though they are
ourselves and
America I see now
is the soldier
who said I saw
something
burning on my
chest and tried
to brush it off with
my right hand
but my arm
wasn’t there—
America is no
other than this
moment, the
burning ribcage,
the hand gone
that might have
put it out, the skies
afire with our history.

John Brehm, “Fourth of July” from Help Is on the Way. Copyright © 2012 by John Brehm. Reprinted by permission of The University of Wisconsin Press.
Source: Help Is on the Way (University of Wisconsin Press, 2012)
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Fourth of July

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