By Amy Miller
America, remember how you trained them
for the crowd, jumbo hides and bellies
teetering on stools, soft and moving
tips of trunks fingering a coin,
Something large and Barnum
paints the darkened posters in our hearts.
We eat peanuts while someone tells us
we’re the greatest. Elephants
and donkeys and a lady
on one leg,
one wheel inside another
and another, all backward
and distracting, glitter
you can see from space (but
up close, glue and sweat
elephants and tigers—
a metal ark that lumbers
through your town. Doors grind open.
Here’s your freedom on a chain.
Amy Miller’s writing has appeared in Gulf Coast, Nimrod, Rattle, Willow Springs, and ZYZZYVA. Her full-length poetry collection The Trouble with New England Girls won the Louis Award from Concrete Wolf Press and will be published in 2018, and her chapbooks include I Am on a River and Cannot Answer (BOAAT Press) and Rough House (White Knuckle Press). She lives in Oregon and blogs at writers-island.blogspot.com.