one of my students tell me / during a class exercise / it’s not a statement / but one of those half- questions they sometimes ask / wondering / if I’ll reaffirm or challenge / their still-blossoming understanding / of what they can / cannot do / it’s like comedy / if it makes people laugh / it’s as simple as that / that’s one answer / here’s another / when evil Captain America picks up Thor’s hammer / the crowd goes wild / with rage / how can the newly-christened fascist / nazi / hydra / hate-monger / be worthy / be righteous / imagine 1941 / Captain America socks the Fuhrer / Captain America tosses his shield / through nazi death machines / Captain America’s on the front line in Normandy / America liberates the POWs / the camps / America comes home / to parades and comic strips / America’s frozen in ice / America / thaws out / America socks Iron Man / America body slams the Red Skull / Hitler’s clone / America fights / the war on terror / America cleans up the debris / America points his red mesh glove towards the next jaw to punch / America’s fighting the good fight / America dies / comes back / will be / great again / America patrols the border / America visits the Middle East / America stops the terrorists / America stops the plane / America forgets his name / America hails hydra / like magic / America turns / America socks Iron Man / America kills / America doesn’t want you to know / America wants a secret empire / America’s gonna make record sales / America is just what you thought he was / would be / could be again / America happened a week ago / America was never your favorite hero
Gary Jackson , born and raised in Topeka, Kansas, is the author of the poetry collection Missing You, Metropolis, which received the 2009 Cave Canem Poetry Prize. His poems have appeared in Callaloo, Tin House, Crab Orchard Review, and elsewhere. He is the recipient of both a Cave Canem and Bread Loaf fellowship, and an associate poetry editor at Crazyhorse. He currently teaches in the MFA program at the College of Charleston in Charleston, SC.
Izzy Wasserstein is a Lecturer in English at Washburn University. Izzy is the author of the poetry collection This Ecstasy They Call Damnation, and has published in Crab Orchard Review, Flint Hills Review, Prairie Schooner, and elsewhere. Izzy shares a home with Nora E. Derrington, a cat, and three dogs, and believes in the power of resistance.