Paintbucket - IF THEY DON’T BURN YOUR CAR, YOU SHOULD DO IT YOURSELF
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IF THEY DON’T BURN YOUR CAR, YOU SHOULD DO IT YOURSELF

Joseph Rathgeber

Because you don’t need it need it,
like didn’t your mommy or daddy ever give you that
talking to
about wants vs. needs?

Put its charred black skeletal frame on its side: a barricade.
It should be a barricade. Against tear gas canisters. Against
batons. Against fire hoses, rubber bullets. Against riot cops.

BURN YOUR CAR

Say somebody stole it and collect on the insurance.

BURN YOUR CAR

Let it be earthshine on the moon.

BURN YOUR CAR

A summer-long fireworks spectacular. Stand at a safe distance
so flaming shrapnel like licks of luster doesn’t scald you,
doesn’t sever you, render you an immobile, still sentient, meat.

BURN YOUR CAR

A sacrificial offering for the lowercased gods,
for the lowest caste, for curbsides and stairwells
and ghats along sludge rivers. For the burning of bodies
in sacred rivers. From creation to cremation,
to pollute, to purify.

BURN YOUR CAR

Because a ribbon of highway flickering with burning cars is the Amerika
the beautiful I’ve been waiting for.

BURN YOUR CAR

A reenactment of the burning cars in Ferguson:
a monument to Edward Crawford, dead in a car:
a memorial to Darren Seals: in memory of DeAndre Joshua:
frontline faces flaked with gunpowder residue
and embers: those cars they died in, a mausoleum,
a flaming sun.

bird
/depression/

Also by Joseph Rathgeber

DON’T MATTER YOU DID OR YOU DIDN’T

IF THEY DON’T BURN YOUR CAR, YOU SHOULD DO IT YOURSELF