That’s a great point, Terry, but not one I want to talk about. Instead I want to focus on America’s most pressing problem: dragons. The science is in, Terry. Dragons are among us, with their impenetrable skin and unpronounceable names, blowing fire on hardworking single moms. Their wings are huge—God, twenty, thirty times bigger than anyone imagined—and their eyes flicker like swamp-gas jack-a-lanterns. They’re taking our livestock, our lives, our very way of life— just eating us for breakfast, Terry, and that’s not a figure of speech. They have unintelligible names and are all but impervious to your average home arsenal: you’d have to own a, uh, a bazooka to protect your family, and even then, some of them just grow back new heads when you blow them off. Just grow them right back. If climate change is real—and I’m not saying it’s real, Terry, there’s a very healthy, very active debate about that in the scientific community—I’d guess it’s probably attributable to these dragons with their infuriating names blowing fire on hardworking single moms. I mean, you can’t just burn America to a crisp like a rasher of bacon and expect it not to crank up the global temperature, am I right, Terry? I read this one story—you can find it online yourself, it’s on the front page of the internet—about a dragon with some brutish name literally swooping down on a hardworking single mom, snatching her baby right out of her arms, tossing it in the air, and bolting it down, one bite. I’ve seen the cell phone footage—I mean, it’s amateur stuff: clearly, it’s going to be blurry— and I’ll tell you, Terry, it just breaks my heart. It puts the fear in me. I’m not just feeding you a line: it ought to put the fear in all of us. I know America’s facing a lot of problems right now, Terry, a lot of problems with no easy solutions, but I think there’s one thing the whole country, and especially its hardworking single moms, can get behind in these confounding times: kill the dragons. Kill the motherfucking dragons.
Stephen Kampa is the author of three collections of poems: Cracks in the Invisible, Bachelor Pad, and Articulate as Rain. His work appears in The Best American Poetry. Recently, he was the writer in residence at the Clampitt House in Lenox, MA. He teaches at Flagler College.