The question of whether the idea of America is dead is not a question.
A question by its definition does not cease to exist in the language.
You hear spoken by those who ask it. This is why the dead, if we say.
Where the living belong are the dead, are not a question. Think of a fire.
Eating its way across a battlefield. Breathing the air for which the dead.
No longer exist. Think of it searching the field for a good place to die.
The question of whether the fire is dead is not a question, as the question.
Of whether the fire is alive still exists in the language you hear spoken.
By those who ask it. This is why in America the idea of a fire is you eat.
More air than the dead can expire or else the earth you can’t stomach.
Devours you too. In America the idea of a fire is what you consume.
Is where you belong. Which is why where the earth belongs is the dead.
And why the only good place to die is where the idea of a fire does not.
Cease to exist in the language you hear spoken by those who ask it.
Now my brother waits for me on the other side of the river
Watching the shadow factory
burn to the ground
Once he called across to ask if I worry
is a man catching fire
all you think we inherit from our father
And I told him to say it once more in our language
Before this year
is done he said
do I wake up at the end of town
is my body thrown
through the windshield of my car
Which is when the country will long to say I’m finished
When all that’s ours
is all a man leaves us
and all we continue is his reign over dirt
Which is when my brother will cross the river
Like a fire eating its way across a battlefield
How I wonder he’ll say
if a family is waiting for me
a few years down the road