Penn State York

“American Dream” by Julie Cassel

In this small town


of ourselves

there are no exclamation points

no question marks

only hard periods

slammed on blank pages

In this small town

we require certainty

a guaranteed conviction

of what is


what is left of what is

but the assurance of dotted i’s

the slow humped backs of m’d

or the parallel structure of each


in here and out there

Because we are neutral

ivory-colored paper

screaming the same stale text

of what is

in this small town

And sometimes what is is enough

And sometimes what is

dips into the fresh ink

of what isn’t

plugging the pages

with meta Is

and me

with what isn’t


with what isn’t

so familiar