They watch you on the box in Cyprus, worship you sextile
in the American board room. In ancient Rome,
they draped themselves over you to await the platters.
In Mega Man videogames, children fire on you.
In the fleshly world, Smith and Wesson hold you
in stinking hands and fire on others.
You bond in chemistry, deviate in statistics. You’re
volatile in the marketplace, sporty in Germany,
a busy beaver in computability theory. You’re a guitar,
the great Martin’s budget line, established the same year
lithium was prescribed to stabilize the psyche
and four kids died in Kent. Are you expedient?
How many bros and bras fly your flag? In Brazil,
you were carried in the Pajama Putsch, a right-wing attack.
Here, you’re too often the shape of the outline
of the bent body of some dumb sick kid
looking to be liked, looking to be alpha.
Pamela Murray Winters is a native of Takoma Park, Maryland. Her poems have appeared or will appear in Gargoyle, Gettysburg Review, JMWW, Innisfree Poetry Journal, Takoma Park Writers 1981, and other publications. She works at a major scientific association. Her natural habitat is the front row of a Richard Thompson concert.