The Fourth of July

by Sarah Duncan

I told you I wanted to know
what our flag is and you said it was
all hero, a kind of soft night
light in the hallway
so you can make it
to the bathroom without falling,
you said it was a quilt, wrapped
around mountains and snow drifts,
sleeving the arms of trees,
like purple, like mountain, like majesty,
you said it’s a taut man
in green with a barrel in his
hands the shape of freedom,
you said it’s our name, child,
your hands, your feet, and you
told me to touch it
so I gathered in my fingers
a piece of cloth, red-wet,
blood-dry, heavy with the sound
of last words from brown mouths


Sarah Duncan currently lives in Laramie, Wyoming, where she’s getting her MFA in creative writing. She is a queer multidisciplinary writer, performer, educator, troublemaker, and community organizer with SURJ (Showing Up for Racial Justice) Wyoming and Laramie for Black Lives. Her poetry has been published by Pelorus Press, Ghost House Review, nin poetry Journal, Souvenir Lit Journal and the anthology States of the Union (forthcoming); her plays have been produced by Sanguine Theatre Company in NYC.

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