America I Feel Sentimental About The Loveless

by Emma McGlashen

after Ginsberg

America, I feel like every napkin in the street understands something about me. America, I feel sentimental about the fat-cheeked, awkward squirrels, skittering in between the store fronts and the miniature garden plots: this used to be a landscape we recognized. America, I feel homesick for somewhere that’s no longer now. America, I have too many receipts in my wallet that I asked for with my own mouth. The ink has gone out of them. They are nothing but smoke. Stop giving them to me, please, these scraps of my past that dissolve in my hands.
America, my hems are unpicked and the calluses on my fingers have faded; I am soft again, and permeable, and afraid. America, I am filled with rain, and I am scared about the coming weeks when the winter will sink its teeth into the streets. America, I keep seeing sparrows bloom from a pile of dead leaves. America, I keep seeing ripped plastic bags hung from the trees; grief, hanging. I keep holding my sorrows in my hands, America, those slips of ochre and umber and gold, and dropping them.

Emma McGlashen is a queer poet raised in Ann Arbor, Michigan whose work has been featured in L'Ephemere Review, Bombus Press, and elsewhere. She can be found on Twitter at @Emma_McGlashen.