How to be a patriot

by Sophia Carney

1.     Plate your pain with reinforced steel;

fit it with tire treads and arm


it with the revolver you keep

in the kitchen cabinet next to the Coco Pops.

2.    Exhibit your pride;

curate it like a museum display.


Soak the constitution in formaldehyde

that sticks the imperatives to the page.


Program the X-ray machine at the door to record

the shade of the visitors’ skin

in hexadecimal.

3.    Press the flag flat.

Turn it to a freeze-frame

between two Perspex sheets labelled



4.    Neglect to mention the pixels of

blood that appear

under UV light and human scrutiny.

5.     Freedom is a word that begins and

ends on your display case. The amendments

to its meaning read

like the list of ingredients in a Big Mac.