America Said
by Danielle Burhop

Honey, my insides feel like Chef Boyardee. All goop. 
It's my own fault, really-gorging on all that freedom—
you know how rich that stuff is? Might as well eat Crisco. 
It's too much for me, anyways-I used to have a metabolism 
like a jackrabbit; when I was young and lithe, I hungered to spread 
my goodness, and I filled myself to overflowing. It gets to be too much 
nowadays; I'm arthritic, and I seem to be suffering from vertigo. 
Remember how good it was, back in the day? 
Now, I'd rather hole up in front of the tube with my afghan, 
rub my hands with Vaseline, and shut out all the hubbub 
of the world. I tried to counteract all that freedom 
with some good old-fashioned values, but now I'm just fat 
and constipated; I still feel like something is running riot 
in my intestines. I guess I'm just getting up there in years; 
it gets hard to salvage us old girls. I mean, look at France— 
all dried up and crabby, no wonder people always think 
she's mean. But I'm headed down that road myself, 
Lord knows, even if I don't drown myself in butter. 
Seems I should have no right to complain, being
 the rich girl that I am. Still, you know a woman 
likes to keep looking good, even till the very end.

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Danielle Burhop is an IAS undergraduate student at University of Washington, Bothell, and is an NSCC alumnus. She has been published previously in Exile and Twice-Bloomed Wistaria. She can be found traipsing around The Loft with bewildered ESL tutees, and posting snarky tidbits at