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Congo
Michael Cirelli

In the Congo, the disc jockey has one hand.

On his left arm, just below his elbow
is a stub, dark and calloused like a stump,
he uses to cross fade the jam. 

An eight-year old boy with a rifle helps him
lift vinyl from a green crate, as bodies pogo up
and down like gazelles. 

Because the rifle rules that dance floor, The Jackson Five
get played again and again and again. 

In the Congo, young girls who speak Swahili, sing
I Get Around in perfect Tupac.

In the Congo, fuck water from stone. Try blood
from mango. Try crucifix from white rhino.

Hey young world: Mobutu is wearing a leopard,
six feet below the earth, in box made of copper.
America is still the river that eats all rivers.

In America, the disc jockey has no hands. 

A sixty-year old man with a toupee and diamond
cuff links, below the elbows, presses the buttons
that cross fade the jam.

In America, Funk Master Flex is filled with cotton.
Angie Martinez has hooks in her shoulders, twine holding
her smile in place. 

Hey young world: There are machetes in the airwaves,
cutting the wax that melts teen ears, to guava jelly. 

Because the dollar rules this dance floor, the gunshot
gets played like buck buck buck.