How to be a patriot

by Sophia Carney

  1. Plate your pain with reinforced steel;
    fit it with tire treads and arm

    it with the revolver you keep
    in the kitchen cabinet next to the Coco Pops.

  2. Exhibit your pride;
    curate it like a museum display.

    Soak the constitution in formaldehyde
    that sticks the imperatives to the page.

    Program the X-ray machine at the door to record
    the shade of the visitors’ skin
    in hexadecimal.

  3. Press the flag flat.

    Turn it to a freeze-frame
    between two Perspex sheets labelled
    DO NOT TOUCH.

  4. Neglect to mention the pixels of
    blood that appear
    under UV light and human scrutiny.
  5. Freedom is a word that begins and
    ends on your display case. The amendments
    to its meaning read
    like the list of ingredients in a Big Mac.