The Coppertone Girl

by Joseph D. Reich

Mississippi spelt like mausoleum…
m-i-s-s-i-s-s how you spell mausoleum?
always fascinated by the phenomenon
of margarine of match sticks of
japanese soldiers still hiding out
in the deep jungles in the thunder
of okinawa hear the real estate
not bad down there so why
really did we enter vietnam?
yonkers? iraq and afghanistan?
how did that work out for us?
those great big torn-out
glossy shots of all those
girls you’re supposedly
fighting for back home
when you get back
home won’t give you
the time of day, poboys
crabapples, a play, bones
of the crow, wildflowers
in the woods, did you
hear the one? time
to air out the beach
chairs and golf clubs
somewhere where
henry ford and
rockefeller and
thomas edison
got their start
right in the heart of
anti-semitic america
eventually moving down
to the semi-tropical palms
and flora behind the mossy
gates of the mansions
and missions not
terribly far from
key west key
i swear i love you
like i like to barbecue
road kill, a stone’s
throw away between
casper and rapid city
valentine, south dakota
harlem globetrotters
entertaining all the
little rich white kids
from the suburbs and
not even allowed to set
one foot in their neighbor
hood? mississippi delta
spelt like mausoleum…


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