Fourth of July

Vivien Song

            after Sharon Olds

 

It hangs in its cell, a purple-headed inmate

strangled by prison linens.

It moves when he moves, a police dog

in primal heat, frothing at the mouth, coarse hair

matted by semen and sweat — and every morning

in his presidential bed, it stands up

for the anthem, and he aims it

like a missile.

VIVIEN SONG is a high school senior from the Bay Area. A 2020 National YoungArts Finalist in Poetry, her work appears or is forthcoming in Asian American Writers' Workshop: The Margins, Cosmonauts Avenue, and L'Éphémère Review, among others. Vivien likes long, aimless walks and overnight oats.

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