PALMOLIVE DOGS

 

r. crumb

r. crumb

some days you feel

like a shit stain—

sadly flawed—

& embarrassed by it—

locked outside,

naked on the porch.

of course if you are

a smart-ass, a poet,

one of God’s forsaken

snakes, a rebel

ready to point out

the perfection

of shit stains

in your drawers

or anywhere really,

even on the laundry

room floor, ready

to ignore that

puritanically Boraxed

antibacterial tidy-way

we’ve been conditioned

to judge & implore

the disgusting shit stain-ee

with frowns & barbs

like: what the fuck

is the matter with you?! or

did you forget to wipe your ass?!

truth is: we all do

scratch & sniff

alone in the closet,

in the basement,

in the bathroom,

undercover in our bed.

we go to those secret

spots in our head

where we explore

our foulest shit (the horror!

the horror!) in sweet

shudders & cries,

private smiling sighs

that Palmolive dogs

won’t permit out loud

or even in print—

we’re trained to hate

mutt-butt, lick a rosebud scent—

those sacred-taboo-cows,

the idle-handlings we abhor

in the name of decorum,

conformity, & taste,

but if taste exists, ever

existed, bad or good,

it’s because of little shits

like you who keep

calling attention to

your minor miseries,

& petty jealousies,

your white bread dreams

deferred while you feed

your fat face writing

check after check, minimum

payments on your ballooning

credit card debt, periodically

scratching your sweaty ass

crack, the thermostat

cranked up to waste & spoil.

sticky oil runs down

the troubled barrels

of American guns, & blood

floods the dark streets

of crippled brown towns

where brown people speak

gibberish & eat shit,

where children are born neon

colors in the garden of Eden,

laser tag played out, bullets

dotting their foreheads.

isn’t it obvious, Miss

Liberty, blind queen

of the pilgrims’ pride,

you are a shit stain

on the bed sheet of justice,

a bloody Kotex stuffed

& duct taped in each mouth

of the yearning masses

willing to lie to breathe,

willing to comply, to accept

slavery for the right to be.

your slick jaw set,

clutching your chiseled rhetoric,

that steel gown, cold, unwavering—

a shit flag of genocide

bleached white—only you

have the arrogance to deny it.

the rest of the world has grown

accustomed to your smell.

 

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