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Poem of the Week: January 14, 2019

Hello readers! Every week, BOA's staff and interns share a special poem from our over 300 collections of poetry. This week's poem is from Holy Moly Carry Me by Erika Meitner, which won the 2018 National Jewish Book Award for Poetry last week.


Go off the fiscal cliff with me, baby. I’m ready.
We can hold hands while we blow through

West Virginia quickly, since we’re halfway down
77 past Charleston already, and I’m cranked on

Cherry Coke from Burger King, feet on the dash,
wondering aloud if they’ll cart sad Dick Clark out

again for TV New Year’s Eve while the car radio
plays Blue Öyster Cult (I’m burnin’ for you), then

world news: Putin says no Russian adoptions
to the US and you say Dick Clark’s a year gone

(heart attack) and the radio says a victim of
gang rape died in India, and that frenzied buyers,

fearful of a ban, are swarming gun stores after
Newtown to stock up on rounds of .223 bullets.

Home in the darkness. Home on the highway. Assault rifles
are sold out across the country. Across the country

we pass trailer parks along the river, empty parking lots
of long-shuttered store fronts, trees hobbled with ice,

and signs left over from Christmas: Happy Birthday
Jesus and Mary Wrapped the Greatest Gift of All.

Congressional leaders are hopeful about a deal, but
I am not confident that anything will change this stretch

of desolate road, this altitudinous mountain we climb
in our four-wheel drive vehicle. Most days it seems

we all might steer directly, without detours, into the white
and constant border. If you ask me if I’m anticipative,

I might say yes. West Virginia, you were Wild and
Wonderful, then Open for Business, but now you’re

Wild and Wonderful again because everything comes back,
even Dick Clark, with impaired speech, Beech-Nut gum

sponsorship long gone, to wish us a Happy New Year,
though now it’s followed by “Seacrest—out!”

With his perfect teeth and hair, Ryan ushers in
the year of austerity, the year when there was only

evening and morning, the bare trees,
their dark bodies, their bent limbs.

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