national anthology of the best undergraduate writing 2014

Extra American

Alex Cashman  • 
University of Miami

Let the sand settle in your lungs
like unwanted guests in your living room,
drinking all your red wine and eating
all your cheese, saying the room
has become a bit tight. Pull over.
Have yourself a double
heart attack. No lettuce, no tomato,
add bacon, extra American.


Isn’t that what it means? Isn’t that
what you are? A loner stumbling across
the desert, drunk on the three-day-old
grease dripping like candle-wax
from the corners of your mouth,
babbling to the cacti. Their arms
are stiff and angular. They are
smattered with blood. Dig for water
until your hands are red.
Find a moccasin fit for a child
and a few bones. Keep it.