“American Economics” by Michael Patrick McSweeney


right now the economy is in the sun room
watching mother robins build their nests
& balance twigs between their beaks.
the doctor just left us silent in the kitchen
coffee mugs cold from neglect
& our hands slide across the table
leaving sweat-garlands beside our cell-phones.

no one wants to kneel beside the wicker chair,
deliver the news, no one wants to close the ivory
blinds across the dusty window.
no one wants to tell the economy it’s going to die.


just after dawn & no sleep I shower,
& drying myself notice blood splashes
trying to crawl towards the drain
of the faux-porcelain sink.
a newspaper’s ashes huddle by the toilet,
headlines fighting for attention
their voices curled around some unformed center.


the stock market stops by to see the economy
but spends his visit in the TV room
admiring the wall-mounted flat screen.
he whistles undulating melodies, his long white fingers
click through our local magazines
& replies when we speak with facts about himself.

after he leaves my wife brings the economy chicken soup
with the noodles cut–she says they can be swallowed faster
that way–& allows the fan in the bedroom to keep whirling
under the weight of shed hair & skin from long ago.
a few hours later I find the economy slumped
over the side of the bed,
spewing broth onto the carpet
& staring up at me
like a child confused by the concept of God.


the doctor shows us x-rays depicting growth,
charts of numbers running up stairs. he says it’s a sign.
I ask if there is anything inspirational I could say
& his eyes flicker away like a spent match.
his mouth mumbles something
about how life is like that Walt Whitman poem…
back home we find the economy in the kitchen,
kneading coffee grounds with shaking palms.
I just needed a little juice, we hear.
my wife takes my hand & begins to cry.



About the Poet:

Michael Patrick McSweeney is an artist and educator from the Boston region. His work has appeared in numerous journals and various regions of the Internet thanks to truly wonderful individuals. He is also the founder and chief financial officer of a used submarine conglomerate, the business website of which can be found at http://discountsubmarines.wordpress.com , and he hopes you have a great day.

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