Americana, three poems by Lindsay Maruska

Lindsay Maruska was born in 1985 in Princeton, New Jersey. She has a graduate degree in World History she very rarely uses. Her poems have appeared in The Furious Gazelle and Rising Phoenix Review. When not writing or playing with her cats, you can find Lindsay on Twitter @ellle_em.


come on tgi fridays:
please-touch museums on corporate
coded walls &

roadside rescue zoos where
parrots pluck themselves bald
& scream when the sun goes wet & red

o this land: they say the road
binds it like blood congealed & old
but those songs they love to sing are awful

if you parse them apart;
in the Floridian wilds women in Grecian
robes run through wet febrile green &

chain cheap eats pop
up in overfilled sinkholes;
we could be in Alabama tomorrow we

could be in Montana tomorrow
we could be anywhere
tossed sugar-spun

generic sleeping pills
drifting like red and green feathers
on the hot exhaust-laced wind.


cat-eyed girl who hunts not for meat
but for how that meat dies
how pleasant the pulse flutters
desperate over last rites &

I want to grow my nails
to defenestrate soft curated
eyes; nothing of me is untouched
but—there’s a ferocity in artifice

that playacting teaches
predatory skills, that chasing
daytime shadows builds
necessary confidence:

don’t worry you have nothing to be afraid of yet
I’m newly made now & not complete
but I will grow my tortoiseshell coat &
pull open arteries with my teeth.


what god are we this time
while the boys draw
straws for sharp knives
at the edge of the surf,
while the boys get drunk
on boardwalk lights
while they break knuckles
open wide like bloody
smiles while all the
boys have bloody smiles:
what god are we girls
in this hot night, hair
like salt from the sea and
eyes photosynthetic,
bioluminescent, lipstick
just right: we bring guns
to knife fights,
we know to draw the altar
on with mascara, sidewalk
chalk and torn-down
mansions: we can be the
god of these boys tonight
if you like: the one they
burn up to, offering oil-
black hair and chewed-
up rims, offering all the torn
shirts and brass-crushed
hands: let’s be that god
watching close their operatic
fights their ballet fights
at the edge of the highway
pools of light: oh girls let’s be
the god of our knife-
sharp boys tonight.