In my American dream,
you started to sing
the national anthem,
but the words got lost,
and I had to rescue you
and throw an arm around
your little shoulder
just like Mo Cheeks did.
In my America, though,
the t-shirt guns were
aimed at us in case
we got anything wrong.
No one posted the video
on YouTube or made us
the feel-good story
on the local news.
Instead, you were sent
to Quebec to learn
the first seven lines
of “O Canada” in French,
and I was sent to
Mexico to coach
the Lechugueros.
I wrote you a postcard
each week telling you
not to forget what
the stars and stripes
had done for us—
blindfolded us,
spun us, and put
a stick in our hands.

Navigating Theta Waves

Everything you invent already exists,
like snow and Napoleon Blownapart.

One minute you’re sipping Coke with your eyes closed, 
the next you’re filing a patent for nightmare flavors.

It seems like nothing 
makes anyone’s mouth hang open anymore.

You have a tough time sleeping, 
your numb toes high in the air,

the bed’s top half buckled
under the weight of your brain—

so many ideas for travel pillows,
so little maritime.

Rob MacDonald lives in Boston and is the editor of the online journal Sixth Finch. His poetry has appeared in Octopus, notnostrums, H_NGM_N and other journals. Last New Death, a chapbook, is available from Scantily Clad Press.