the ballad of american jesus

the president
the governor
teary eyed for
the cameras
wonder why oh why
was there another
school shooting
unable to grasp
this tragedy
while millions
clutch tightly to
their crucifixes
a big gulp sitting
on the floor
next to where
their foot once was
a gun on the table
next to an
unopened bible
begging american jesus
to tell them why

why won’t someone
think of the children?

the government
issues proclamations
of mandatory
unconcerned with
the number of
starving children
needing a fresh crop
of willing bodies
to take the bullets
aimed at freedom
to vote within
their gerrymandered
districts and elect
god’s chosen candidates
picking and choosing
inalienable rights
(guns, god, oligarchy)
from the wishlist
the constituents
are begging for
(freedom, healthcare, equality)
yet feigning disbelief
when those bullets
aren’t fired on
the holy battlefield
but in the hallways
of learning facilities
doing nothing to
curb this american issue
except through
thoughts and prayers

american jesus isn’t
in the saving souls racket
he doesn’t tend the flock
he lets the wolves
with clasped hands
and false piety pay off
the shepherds with
promises of new computers
if the standardized
testing scores meet an
acceptable level of
enforced ignorance
just smart enough to
parrot talking points
not nearly smart enough
to ask any questions
anything good is done
by the grace of god
bought and paid for
by the tax money the
poor pay as the sacred
corporations and churchs
report record profits
and the children starve
as they begin training
to be good little workers
willing to give it all
in the pursuit of
the divine greenbacks
printed on the good faith
of a nation that has
long since only exported
a violent police state
incapable of keeping
the peace here at home

we could take steps
to reduce the violence
but only at the cost
of the civil liberties
hand picked by
those chosen few
with crocodile tears
lamenting the latest
tragedy in a series of
latest tragedies
doing nothing at all
after the cameras fade
except counting the
cash filled coffers
donated by the same
companies that invest only
in senseless deaths
as american jesus turns
tap water into bottled water
to be sold at a profit
poisoning the wells
then patenting the cure
to be sold at a
significant mark up
acknowledging loss
and turning the people
against one another
instead of doing anything
to prevent the next
encouraging faith over
embracing real change
for fear of upsetting
the holy triumvirate
of wealth
and ignorance

soon enough there will
be another catastrophe
to take our minds off of
the latest tragedy
and only the parents
will remember the dead
as the leaders meet with
suitable feigned hubris
and mark it all off as
acceptable losses in the
pursuit of the american dream
as written by the
founding fathers and
guided by the disdain
of profiteering prophets
one nation divided by
the will of the rich
standing on the necks
of the shambling hoard
kneeling in supplication
to documents written in
a way to encourge an
evolution of thought
yet taken only at face value
as american jesus intended
with faith in the dollar
tied to sticks to keep
the huddled masses
moving blindly toward
a promised land most
will never actually see

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