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Mira Jacob reads “Who Will Survive in America? Or 2017: A Horror Film”, a poem by Ashley M. Jones.

Brought to you by Complexly, The Poetry Foundation, and poet Paige Lewis. Learn more: https://www.poetryfoundation.org/

Mira Jacob:
http://www.mirajacob.com/
https://twitter.com/mirajacob

Poem: Who Will Survive in America? Or 2017: A Horror Film by Ashley M. Jones
Book: dark//thing
Press: Pleiades Press
Page Number: 53

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I am Mira Jacob and I am reading today one of Ashley M Jones' poems from her book Dark Thing, and it is called "Who Will Survive in America?

Or 2017: A Horror Film". So Ashley is a young poet but I feel like there's a depth and a quality to her observation that feels old without being wise and beyond belief.

There's something really beautiful about the way that she puts the world into focus for me.

Who Will Survive in America? Or 2017: A Horror Film

golden shovel variation after Ross Gay

All year, I have worked 
against this feeling, this country, this raging wreck
from sea to shining sea.  Do you know what it means
to wake each morning, to realize your own brown hands
aren't enough to protect you, that the likelihood
on any given day being your last on Earth
is too high, that we are more likely 
to find life on Mars than to ever actually fix that fatal likelihood,
that we will probably just continue 
with our meaningless Starbucks orders, fill the house
with Nina Simone and call that "woke," value furry, collared creatures
over our own human kin?  Sometimes, seems like they can smell
our otherness, seems like we sparkle with something fiery in the sunlight,
but not even our spectacular, crystalline glitter makes it easier
for them to believe that we have any inalienable right to breathe.