No free soil here. The air over Wal-Mart’s asphalt is thicker
than desire. Thick bodies in tank tops patrol the lot. Idling exhausts
show our half-cocked resolve, magnetized ribbons our meanness.
In back young men stack cartons of beef nearing the end
of its journey from Dodge and Garden City, where the escalator took
the steers single file on their slow descent to the bolt through the brain
and the hoisting hook. On this day we depend on fear and ignorance,
herding into the stalls of pop culture and commerce. We depend
on a calculating few to make us forget everything but folding lawn chairs
on sale, plastic coolers, Sousa, and fireworks by the river tonight.
— Stephen Bunch