A poem by David Garyan
I’m tired of your moments of silence,
especially before baseball games;
they’re sickening to watch.
You’ve had enough moments of silence, America.
Why don’t you have more
shootings with no-hitters?
How long should we let you continue?
America, silence isn’t respect.
Should we wait until we can do nothing
more except stay silent the whole day?
I don’t want to reach the point
where we must observe 24 hours of silence
so all the dead can be properly honored.
Your tragic expressions on the news
no longer mean anything to me.
You’re like a heroin junkie
who says he can quit shooting up any time,
but refuses to go to rehab.
How long must we endure watching you die
until you finally overdose on bullets?
America, if I was your parent,
my knees would go weak
holding your dead body in my arms;
excuse me, but I’ve chosen to love you
and disown you as well.
No, I can’t feel sorry for you anymore
unless you start feeling sorry for yourself
and begin to improve.
America, you’re not welcome here anymore;
sleep on the street, if you must.
I will no longer supply your guns.
I don’t care how bad your withdrawals get.
You can shoot rubber bullets
if it’ll make you feel better.
I won’t pay attention to your pleas or sympathies
until you decide to put down
your track-marked arms
and go to rehab.
I’m always yours, America,
and maybe you also belong to me,
but your suffering
doesn’t affect me anymore.
Die next to a dumpster, if you will,
but don’t come running to me for help.
I don’t care.
You’re no longer a son;
you’re no longer a daughter.
I refuse to treat you that way.
To me, you’re just like all the other addicts
I pass every day driving to work.
Why don’t I care about helping them?
Get the fuck out of my house, America;
I’m sorry to disown you,
but I’m not sorry for you.
I’m only doing what all good
parents should do.
If you want to live here,
you’ll have to grow up.
You’re sick and you need help;
you won’t get better
until you accept this.
America, don’t call me “father”
and don’t call me “mother.”
Any news of your suffering
doesn’t upset me anymore;
it just disgusts me.
America, maybe I’m lying.
Maybe I still want to be your parent;
it tortures me to see you die
on the streets of El Paso and Dayton,
but it seems impossible to save you;
you never listen,
and always get defensive.
About David Garyan
David Garyan has published three chapbooks with Main Street Rag, and a full collection, (DISS)INFORMATION, is upcoming in October with the same publisher. He holds an MA and MFA from Cal State Long Beach, where he associated himself with the Stand Up Poets. He currently lives in Los Angeles and you can usually find him at his favorite hangout spot—somewhere on the 405 freeway.