124. To the Stars Through Difficulty: Allison Berry

Everything’s for sale on the roadside: melons, old Chevys, pure bred
mastiffs, peaches, our minds, our bones.  We’re all half drunk
on the lead our toes soak up from soil.  We’re all half sick.

We can’t be the Kansas this country needs.  A child hollers
God Hates Fags somewhere outside Topeka. The burden of America’s dream,

the lies stuck in our throats, we can’t sustain the guise.
We’re all half choking on the Kansas of our memories: the impossible plains,
the doe, sunflower and owl.  My Kansas birthed me godless, birthed children’s

dandelion hunger, birthed the gunman and Dr. Tiller like an unstuffed straw man
dead on the church floor.  We aren’t just some promise of good old days.

— Allison Berry


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