My friend who loves living more than I do tells me she stole it once,
but another was ready to take its place, somewhat like a soldier,
in a box under the counter. Facing away from the storefront itself, a camera
is always pointed at it; being a valuable, albeit replaceable, object, it must be
that a sophisticated heist resulted in its brief disappearance at the hands
of my friend. I imagine myself replacing it with a carefully constructed
counterfeit. My friend wants to light the flag on fire but worries about
the morality of the act. I am thinking that the counterfeit flag would
somehow lack the magical reappearing power of the real flag: it would
blow away into a river one day and dizzolve like a tab of acid, gone forever.
Do what you want to, I tell her. I’m not sure it matters. From our side
of the street, I can block it out with the side of my thumb, momentarily.
Katana Smith is a Black biracial poet from Aurora, Colorado. She is a McNair Scholar and graduate of Knox College. Her work has appeared previously in Tinderbox. She is a current student in the Litowitz MFA+MA program at Northwestern University.