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Violence is American as cherry pie. – H. Rap Brown, July 1968

Hang Mike Pence! – Capitol Terrace, 6 Jan. 2021

The mind of the mob

is blank. Its swarms no

longer are persons.

It surges in waves

of gleeful hate

screamed belief a tide

flooding flats in snarls

bayed anthems hands clenched

or clawed mouths twisted

in rage, snaking long arms

like the beast of Norse nightmares

slashing at innards

thrusting towards eyes.

Whatever blocks it is heaved

splintered stomped to dust

it hears only forward

drunk on momentum

certain of right to crush

all that resists.

Who wears the flag now

with an unctuous

pride, might pause on

this venomous roar

these drum-beating urges

to rend and destroy.

Who thinks we are chosen

might factor those in.

Who sees it convenient

to slide back that gate

will meet a dark hunger

that circles and waits.

Version first published in Rat's Ass Review, Summer 2021

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