half of what is
owed is less than
freedom’s promise:
the debt long over-
due, the agency’s
men at the door
& they are here
to stay; get used
to it—we dragged
them here by
our own undoing
& now it is time
to pay what we
have avoided,
squirmed out of,
broken promises
of check in the mail
& fair elections
left on the table
uncollected &
don’t forget almost
three hundred years
of interest.


lawns buzz with
suburbanites & their
crisscross plots mixed
with soiled sob stories,
the world a reality show
run by ink-mad producers
hell-bent on canned applause
& percentage points & meanwhile
next door Kenny admires a beer can
from the deck of a Cub Cadet
finally enjoying the privileged
life of a bastard with no regrets
since his wife left with some
schmo around the block
& the kid across the way
with the skater girlfriend
has no idea what awaits
ten or fifteen years down
the road but isn’t that the
province of youth & the
price we pay for hope?