I was gardened naïve, America, inhaling with mother’s rich milk your myths of false values. I believed the honeyed stories, candy-coated fictions yielding fruitcakes made with heavy water; the historicized lies you tell, fabricated, across short centuries by xenophobes and brute muscles that breathed to uproot native peoples and choke the earth red with their lives; the fake fables you tell seeking to keep buried the undead knowledge of how common America really is. Whatever exceptionality we once harvested, we squandered long ago. Now it is just a continuing lie to make us feel sine qua non. I used to believe, used to believe it all, down to the last dog-missed crumb on mom’s worn linoleum kitchen floor. Sometimes, I actually miss those glistening days of homey, apron-ironed self-satisfaction. There: mops didn’t get dirty, shit didn’t stink, god was love. On frank days, I envy the choicefully dumb their blindness, their easy knack of playing with eyes padlocked, pretending to see golden boughs of the really real: plump, purple, tasty grapes of sweet verity, hanging, god-given, within easy reach illusory. Some days, when I’m particularly weary and self-harming, I just wish to go, just leave it all behind, permanently walk away from its meaninglessness.