“I Want to Burn the Frat House of America to the Ground” by Susan Nguyen

Susan Nguyen


after Jennifer Weiner

Look, America, I have tasted you
before and you taste like beer.
Pabst. Natty Boh. Schlitz.
In a can and warm.

You taste like lemonade powder in vodka,
fire hydrant water collecting in sewers.

America, the beautiful:
don’t you look impossible tonight?
A two-headed coin. You told me
I’m sexy, I’m beautiful, I’m wanted, unwanted, not a 10
but here we are in your bedroom
and I’m a secret. I’m impossible.
Do you know how to be sorry?
I’m a snack, you said, and guess who’s hungry.

America, where are your hands?

You should know: I remember

You pulled back my elbows
and asked how could anyone
be sure of my face in the dark?

America, you duct taped
my hands to a 40 and said drink

You duct taped my hands to two 40s and took my phone away

You duct taped my two hands and said do something

America, how could you

I want to burn all the frat houses all the America all the ground

I want to America the frat house burning

America, run

America, here is where the burning body turns into ground

America, you could

America, show me

from Poets Respond
September 30, 2018


Susan Nguyen: “I wrote this poem because I believe Dr. Christine Blasey Ford and because it was difficult to watch her testify at the Senate hearing this past week. The poem’s original inspiration and its title comes from an op-ed by Jennifer Weiner in the New York Times with the byline “I want to burn the frat house of America to the ground.’” (web)

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