Christopher Salerno


 

We Are Going Somewhere

 

1.

We are going somewhere, somewhere important like the U.S. Mint.
In the future, we’ll speak of our class trips as "neoclassical."
I can no longer visit the Liberty Bell.
Does anyone else have generalized anxiety?
General George Washington once wrote, "The man who fails
is drunk on something else."
I have all these different versions of time.
Beside the Coke machine I see a couple
having a whisper fight.
I pretend to inflate my hand like a latex glove.
Their whisper fight smells like gum.

 

2.

We are going somewhere, somewhere important like a fort.
Sure, I've often thought of enlisting.
But as the great Alexander Hamilton once wrote, "Money retarded me."
Rightness is not the point anymore.
At the fort some kids are playing MERCY in the grass.
There are either rules or laws (not both).
Somewhere in the fort is a bedroom for what must be a very restless type of sleep.
Outside there are twelve gates designed to make the enemy think.
Around the fort is a lot of blue water.
I trouble the water.

 

3.

We are going somewhere, somewhere important like a crime scene.
Perfect, a convenience store robbery.
When it involves a death, a crime scene becomes like a museum.
In this metaphor, art is the escape a criminal makes.
This poem makes death worth it.
A robbery where no death occurs is a "successful" robbery.
On my way downtown I see ants carrying pieces of chateaubriand.
The ants are getting away with burglary!
The ants are where nobody thinks to look.
The ants are like a marching band routed around a wildfire.

 

4.

We are going somewhere, somewhere important like a Hall of Fame.
I was reading about poet Marianne Moore's
stroke after throwing out the first-pitch at Yankee Stadium.
There's a kind of intermediacy to the golden age of anything.
In 1909, the great Benjamin Franklin Shibe
was issued a patent for a small ball full of wool yarn.
I pretend to care less about baseball.
Marianne Moore's father died after failing to invent the smokeless furnace.
Some people are in pain in this world.
In 1992, M. Teasdale was issued the patent for Goldschlager,
a liqueur full of suspended flakes of gold.