Morgan Parker:

  America This Is For You (Audition Tape Take Two)

Let’s talk for a minute
about how many free shots I can expect. Because if
it’s like, ten per night, sure—
I’ll hook up with the other black person in the house.
But if it’s like, ten per week,
I have a boyfriend back home.
And are we talking well liquor or top shelf?

The viewers want me
at a three-drink minimum, my forehead dipped
in Russian gasoline.
After the ceremony, west coast viewers are invited
to complimentary punch and handshaking
on the church patio.
Later that night I wash up on an Atlantic beach,
push against Eastern screens
like an open mouth.

My dad used to watch and say I’d be perfect
and since I’ve started drinking
he says it louder. I make great television.

There isn’t hope
but there is something
that happens when people on television
leave the house to go outside
and there is no background noise,
only colors brighter than the liquid
rolling in their stomachs.

I love my viewers as the sun—
the ones who watch me cuss in subtitles, teenage boys
mid-jerk, mothers who warn their daughters
but shine quietly, remembering,
siblings and cellmates
who don’t speak during commercials,
odd couples, bad little kids, old people
who don’t know how to change the channel,
viewers who are stoned,
hopped up, buttered, hungry, wasted,
full of acid or chicken or shit.
Give me a drink and I will do a service.


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