No Words After the Election

a duck waddling in your throat
before a thunderstorm

try to quack all you can
navigate through water

(your wings
do not function)

remain afloat you remember
your body floats (what’s the word)

go fast as you can
in this pond you call home

you duck
you slow duck

come home to algae

fish

geese

ripples

 

(originally published in The Pangolin Review, Summer 2018)

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Half

to cut immigration
is to cut me half

-Filipino I am already
halved quartered diced you take

a knife to my mother she keeps
a knife at her neck we both are

American in the blade of the word
I used to pretend to be more

my more-accepted half
to have to choose

is to have nothing

 

(originally published in Serving House Journal, Fall 2017)

Election Year

do you believe in demons
it is an election year
which means half the populace is terrified
more than they usually are
half of us believe you can cast hell on a ballot
without holding your breath
cloaked and mortared
to cast bombs into the future
always parachutes
forthcoming days that glide like saliva
we argue until our tongues hurt
and our minds are worn from fire
that we build organically
rubbing sticks together
and the whole nation burns
cold and lifeless
what America needs
is for fewer people
to preach what America needs
and to follow the strays
who wander the streets
to see where they go

 

(originally published in Black Elephant Lit)