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The pure products of America/ go crazy --
-William Carlos Williams

A day too soon, a dollar too many.
What will become of the Jones children?
Will they ride to hounds on their college visits?
Privilege is just another word for
freedom, purchased at the expense of others,
everything left to lose. Give me liberty
or give me debt. Give me a fast car,
a place to put it up on blocks. We are
impure products, Bill--deliver us,
& forget. Daily to be shown matter,
to come in contact with it--
get real, Henry.
No one wants that. A vista, so democratic
it dissolves in a pixel bath; a frontier
so final it buries our hearts behind us.  


The Midterms

Pin a flower to a falling star--
longing on a large scale makes history.

Beneath the social media, the beach;
beneath the beach, the oceans, rising.

Is hope a commodity or a future?
Shares & shares alike (most people won’t).

It’s as if we’re waiting to be pardoned
for the crime of being both complicit

& innocent. It feels like a pillow
held over our face. Vote early, vote often,

in the deserted polling stations
of the heart. There’s always next year, until

another next year, another next year.
Gangrene the rushes grow, the blade shining

in the dark. All episodes of the
revolution available at once,

so gallantly streaming; there’s too much to
watch. Democracy dies in darkness &

in light. November remembers, forgets.
We can’t forget, we can’t forgive, we raise

a fist, a flower crushed within it.


Coroner in a Small Town in Texas

When the call comes, the night that never ends
begins, even on a Sunday morning,
even in the warm sunshine of autumn.
Our fall keeps falling: there is no bottom.  

When I dig the slugs out, see what’s written
on each one, visible still, though shattered,
the red rinsed off, exposed again to the air--
one bullet marked thought; one bullet marked prayer.


Gregory Crosby is the author of the forthcoming Walking Away from Explosions in Slow Motion (2018, The Operating System), and the chapbooks Spooky Action at a Distance (2014, The Operating System) andThe Book of Thirteen (2016, Yes Poetry); his poetry has appeared in numerous journals, including Court Green, Epiphany, Copper Nickel, Leveler, Sink Review, Ping Pong, & Hyperallergic. He teaches creative writing at Lehman College, City University of New York.