There’s no trumpet, sayonara taps.
Sans salute, ciao all calls to attention.
Adiós ye amber waves, her colorful
mountains so distant they’re mostly

haze. The border to this land leaves
an open wound, oozing goodbyes and
good riddance in any language worth
keeping its teeth trimmed in gold.

Bare these now to ask who’s left to take
the last flag down—at the red brick
school at the edge of the desert, where
America fails to sail her promised excellence.

Here a lone man still stands to winch
fabric from staff, hand over hand
over chain until it arrives at his face—softly,
like a lover searching for a kiss. And so, softly,

he drapes her on his neck as he unclips
the fasts, battens the knot. Then,
together, they move slowly up the path—
the cape and her final, folded hero.