America loves pretty lies. She especially loves the men who tell her that she is beautiful and sweet and good, even as she stands amid the dead bodies of her shot-up babies and the now-wrecked home she lives in, that spacious Cape Cod in the best part of town that she stole from people who didn’t see her coming. She just likes being told that she is great, and that the things that aren’t so great are the fault of other people.

She loves these men who tell her only what she wants to hear, and she hates the ones who would kneel before her on Sunday afternoons and beg her to please just save herself and her children – their children – while she still can. She doesn’t have time for the work it takes. She doesn’t have heart enough to look inside and see the emptyness. Not when she can simply fawn over these men who tell her how great she will be again some day.

She doesn’t have time or money to make certain that all of her loser children have food and care and shelter. It isn’t her fault they didn’t succeed. She gave them everything. She doesn’t have enough time or money to fix them if they won’t fix themselves. It isn’t her fault that they won’t work and make money. It isn’t her fault they won’t stop playing with all the guns she left for them to use, that they won’t stop shooting each other, or even shooting themselves. Those guns are tools to protect their freedom. She can’t take them away from the good ones because the bad ones keep fucking up.

It isn’t her fault they can’t all go to the doctor. All they have to do is work and make money and pay for insurance. Tough love is what they need. Pull themselves up by their bootstraps, like John Wayne and Thomas Jefferson.

Because that’s what she did, right? She earned the things she has.

Look at her big fancy house (but ignore the dead and lazy babies) (wait, she stole that from the earlier tenants, so never mind the house)

Look at all her wealth (but ignore those dead and dying babies too, the ones who are trading their very bodies and souls to make money for her, in exchange for 20% of what wealth they might produce before they get old and die) (also, ignore the wealth left behind by the original tenants)(also, ignore the wealth she got by stealing the bodies of those black men for all that time)

Look at all of it. She’s going to be great again. Look at the wonderful men who tell her that. They can’t be wrong. They even made hats.

  • I miss your body
  • I miss sharing meals with you
  • I miss sending you funny memes
  • I miss you sending me funny memes
  • I miss waking up with you
  • I miss the feeling of you sleeping in my arms
  • I miss the smell of you
  • I miss being seen with you
  • I miss running errands with you
  • I miss our photo drives
  • I miss knowing you’ll be there on a hard day
  • I miss falling into you on those hard days
  • I miss trying to sleep on the sofa together, and eventually giving up because this thing is just a little too small
  • I miss folding clothes with you
  • I miss making the bed with you. I miss this almost every morning
  • I miss how good it always felt when you got home after being gone all day
  • I miss the sound of your voice when you were really happy

I miss all of these things, every day.

But I’m not really sure I miss you.