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Fourth of July
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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