American Nothing


Tonight the wind tears through a flag

building a religion from cruelty.

Someone lifts their face out of privacy, out of death.

I’m here to marry you, lonely American nothing—

with my useless name and your aimless car

ready to take me out of myself. If the body was harmless,

history would read lighter and we’d take our drinks long.

I can smell your hair from here and it’s years after.

Below my window boys eat chocolate with their fingers

and the taste of their cheap sweetness keeps me awake.

Even now the voice on your radio takes me home

where I never lived. The question I sleep with

grips stronger than any stranger that finds me.

What do we want when we ruin each other?

I’ve done terrible things and I still want to know.

Alex Dimitrov is the author of Together and By Ourselves, Begging for It, and American Boys. He teaches in the creative writing program at Rutgers University. Find him on Twitter here.

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