A Sonnet if it Kills Me
“Why weep? Tomorrow we’ll murder all of you”
-Russian seminary student to a terrified Jew on the
second morning of the Kishinev Pogrom,
Instead, laugh. Instead, let your son do what he wants
for once. Instead, withdraw as much as you can
from an ATM and put it all into a tip jar somewhere.
Instead, take two edibles and see what happens.
Put the fucking phone down. Put it behind your tire
before you back out. Break into a rich person’s pool.
Liberate the zoo. Liberate a prison. Liberate the Walmart
gun section and throw it all into a lake. Light some
red hats on fire. You are a stranger in a strange land?
Good! L’ Chaim! Light the police station on fire
before they can light you on fire. Sing it:
there will be feasting and dancing in Jerusalem next year.
Sing it: in every generation they rise against us
to exterminate us. Or don’t. Instead, sing a new song.
Jewish American Dream #1: The Other One was Adam Levine
Today I drove by a big store
called Public Lands. Public Lands
was closed. Lately my dreams
have been about gas stations.
In last night’s they had rearranged
the shelves and I couldn’t find
the Cosmic Brownies or the Diet Coke.
The cashier asked me if Diet Pepsi
was okay. He looked like Paul Rudd.
Actually, he was Paul Rudd
in a polo shirt and a nametag.
No, Paul, I don’t care if you’re
one of two Jews ever named
People Magazine’s sexiest man alive—
I don’t care if the American Spirit
is a carton of cigs or if Public Lands
is a big box store—Diet Pepsi is never
okay. I’ve seen people slapped for less.
Jewish American Dream #2: I Ain’t Nothin’ But Tired
Annie Liebowitz has asked me
to help her recreate the cover
of Born in the USA. My mom
is there too. She says she wants
to talk to me about insurance.
I say not now, mom. She says
it won’t take long. I say please
respect my time. I feel her ire
radiating towards me as Annie
hands me the red hat. Beginning
to work a curve into the brim,
I walk towards the tuches.