Surgical Strikes

from by Houston Hughes



Every country wants to be beautiful,
Some just need a little more help than others do.
And That’s what we’re here for;
The shining surgery center on top of the hill,
A neon beacon for all to see:
United States Plastique Surgery.

Welcome to your wartable consultation.
Now we’ve taken the liberty to map out on your body
Target areas we think could use some reconstruction,
Just the standard procedure:
The Governmentectomy,
We go in, remove your current ruling regime
And replace it with a new one we’ve crafted for you personally.
And we can assure you,
It’ll look so convincing
Only those who look closely will know it’s not the real thing.

The first step of the surgery
Will be 24-hour news coverage of the area in the media-
It’ll help to numb things up.
Then we’ll begin by going in
And eliminating those pesky pockets of resistance
and spots of insurgency –
They can become cancerous if left untreated.

We’ll make a few injections of spec ops –
(yes it’s technically toxic
But it’ll smooth things out in the long run) –
And once we’ve made those initial points of entry,
We’ll begin the real scalpel rattling,
Call in the whole team,
and Declare a war on “ugly”,
We’ll make you look beautiful like the kind of bronze statues
You’ve probably watched them topple on TV.
We’ll break you
Bone by home,
And then set the mold so that you’ll heal in our imagine.
Bleach your skin till it’s marbled
And no longer seems so foreign.

Now, if your body cooperates,
We can prop up your dictatorship
With a prosthetic election,
But that’ll only hold for so long,
So we prefer to just go ahead and directly implant the democracy.
[be careful with that thing – you might put somebody's eye out]

Once that primary procedure is complete,
We can move to a few of the elective surgeries:
Military augmentation and oil field liposuction.
Neither is required,
But we’ve might as well while we’ve got you under.

We tend to not come in
with a specific exit strategy,
But generally,
We’ll try to close you up quickly
And move on to our next client,
within 5 to 10 years.
Now sometimes,
Your body will reject the new government,
But don’t worry if your stitches get civil-war-torn,
We offer free lifetime replacement procedures and reconstructive surgeries.
And the best part is,
You don’t owe us a thing up front.
Our tax-payer sponsored healthcare ensures all your costs are covered.

We have happy customers from all over the world,
Panama, Hawaii, Grenada, haiti, Cuba, The Phillipines, Afghanistan, Somalia, Bosnia, Kosovo, Guyana, Kuwait, Iraq, Iran, Iraq again, Syria, and more!
Don’t believe me?
Here’s a testimony from one of our satisfied customers:

We can’t be sure of your full recovery period,
And it’s definitely going to sting.
But we assure you,
As doctors,
We follow the “do no harm” oath of Hypocrates;
Otherwise the term “surgical strikes” would be terribly misleading.

You know, Some people may try to call you Frankenstein.
I think it’s odd how often they confuse
Who was the doctor
And who was the monster.


from Growing Up, Not Old, released June 30, 2016



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Houston Hughes Fayetteville, Arkansas

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