Gregory Pardlo

(Philadelphia)

For Which it Stands

For a flag! I answered facetiously. A flag of tomorrow,
fluent in fire, not just the whispers, lisps, not just the still there
of powdered wigs, dry winds. Who wants a speckled
drape that folds as easy over smirch as fallen soldier?
This is rhetorical. Like, 'What to the Negro
is the fourth of July?' A flag should be stitched with a fuse.

Jefferson said for each generation a flag. Maybe
he said Constitution. I once raised a high-top flag

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