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QU Montage

By Lauren Manna

In the last summer of America
their elastic purple tongues will envelop the White Mansion
and the Monument, and Lincoln’s copper legs
and the venom in the bubbles of their spittle will reduce
those statues of grandeur to the chewed wet pencil nub
of a nervous schoolboy.
The father who sent his child into the sky will nod his head
and point to Draco to D.C. and back again
with a knowing look in his eye.

In the last summer of America
the brittle flying machines
will ascend again, stamping their crop circles onto Midwestern corn.
Covered in gritty frost and hanging icicles
from their time spent among the penguins, so that
you can barely see the red swastika tattooed to its underbelly.
Those who knew will be so pleased
as they too dodge abduction among more ignorant men.

In the last summer of America
the cheaply made artifacts those time-spinning tricksters created
will turn to dust, and reveal
that the coins of Angkor were wooden
the trials of the Buddhists embellished
that the symbols of algebra were falsified-
as if to the adolescent it were any surprise.
And the crown of the Emperor to the West was paper
because his life was fiction.
We counted our lives in dog years
to stretch the time before the sun falls upon us.

But likely
the last summer of America
will look very much like this; slow and untitled
no Annunaki or Huanebu or Phantom Time. 
They listened for the bang and so missed Her nameless whimpers.
The best part will be the silence, and surprise, because
if we must all die at once- I’d rather not hear
I Told You So.