The Center Cannot Hold

after Kaveh Akbar

 
overton overton since you moved out east
we’ve all been dissolving our history
can’t you feel the fissures from your home
among the bread and circuses      the question still
between right and left      we crave the thrill
of each trap you set      the culture wars
the breaking news      we forget that Rome 
didn’t fall in a day       such fables so often inaccurately told
our eyes cloud over       our spines start to warp
all our outrage       rusts into worship
 
America when you were young your hull and keel
swayed gently through each tack and jibe      I trailed your wake 
I’d hoped to float along a steadier current       ride
the gulf stream    the southbound Mississippi    immovable skiff 
how much of the ballot did you leave
unmarked       everyone went silent
binge-watching a creeping new normal 
narrated by chorus
thechorussmolderedtorage
someone struck the opening bell and all
the rage rang out