Caris Allen

SALEM 1692

exodus 22:18
"do not allow a sorceress to live"

every accused expendable
every woman expendable
abigail dancing naked in the woods
cooking up hysteria like a thick beef stew 
terrible sustenance for a salem
fat with fear and myth and misunderstanding 
the devil was among the town, yes
the devil was inside its people

exodus 22:18
"do not allow a sorceress to live"

but what about a sorcerer
what about a sorcerer
men who hear voices are prophets
 women who hear voices are

the trouble is you are half of what you could have been

america, you beautiful experiment, i think i am in love
with the idea of you, i think this is what people on the internet
call stockholm syndrome / america, i am trapped inside of
you but i cannot bear to leave / america, you are everything
i adore and everything i abhor rolled into one, you are the
greatest contradiction i can fathom / america, you are infinite
potential stifled by the greed of man, you are spacious skies
and you are filthy subway stations, you are amber waves of
grain and you are an unlivable minimum wage, you are purple
mountain majesties and you are poverty-stricken streets /
america, you are a petri dish in the wrong hands
but america, you are a scientist studying yourself

you are the wounded and the weapon-wielding
america, i am begging you to stop breaking your own bones
america, i am begging you to stop covering the concrete
in your own blood

About the author: Caris Allen is a student at the University of North Texas. Her poetry has previously been featured in The North Texas Review, The Hunger, Riggwelter Press, Bone & Ink Press, Dirty Paws Poetry Review, Anti-Heroin Chic, and more. She loves travel, British comedy, funky music, and, especially, you.