A Treatise on Jerky

by Pierre Beauregard, 12:31pm EST

America where we debarked, for climate, benign tides, for chance, here where we raised up sequoia, hickory, oak, barbed logs against weather and men, where we met with steel, feather, lead, where we carved for Her a new meridian, She the Country, freshfaced, granite-boned and long-grinned, an empire’s afterbirth, its cord cut and left to mark a dreamed-up longitude. Here now among streets paled by sun and sandblown, faults flush with crabgrass, debris pinned by rain and febrile tradewinds to timeworried curbs, vast trampled streets, arterial and circuitous and none with passage out, demarked by structures tenantless save beat and fecal streetcombers, a frameworked architecture arched and adoring over the tepid canal of its commerce. Here the pious, the repentant, the transient dead, soft-bellied and hard-jawed, ceding nourishment and shelter so to invoke deliverance and god’s charity. She is more ancient than they are keen to.

Here under banners tinted to Her colors, where the scent of cooking wafts and lingers on the summer heat, spit-skewered meat smoking and peanuts boiled in oceanwater, here before clapboard storefronts and a hot smiling horde the mob comes like paint running. A brave and glitzy blitz of color and sound. Closed fists, calloused elbows pumping, feet mortaring newly laid asphalt. A hard metered march and a collective animal bearing. They call, cheering, to their witnesses, ravenous and bright-eyed, a sentient stream throbbing forward under noon’s hard white sun. Their grounds for marching are legion and they come like a living thing starved. I am hungry, they say. So we say, here, jerky. 

Pierre Beauregard