The American Crisis
With regards to public life, we commence it with a glass
of milk and also with unreal currency.
We are affectionate when we dine:
the beets, sympathetic to the plate and rich with purpose,
adhere to yogurt and dill.
Plastic suburbs gradually appear before we mortgage
properties we’d declared ours—
we indulge, anyway, and rid ourselves of the responsible
We reach safe standing against fastidious dice,
which grant us citizenship
with water and electric trusts, with respite from the market.
Ricardo Alberto Maldonado was born and raised in Puerto Rico. He is the translator of Dinapiera Di Donato’s Colaterales (Akashic Books/National Poetry Series) and the recipient of fellowships in poetry from the New York Foundation for the Arts and Queer Arts Mentorship. He is managing director at the 92Y Unterberg Poetry Center.