Gritty Details

Monday, November 14, 2016

Tonight's Poet Corner: Current Events

Current Events
by Belinda Roddie

All of the demons I used to know -
they have all gathered in the local town
square. Picking up sticks and stitching them
into crucifixes that they weave in their brimstone
hair. The black stickiness lingers on their fingers.
They cackle at the sobs from those already
marginalized, now afraid of a lifetime of peripheral
vision, or a bullet leaving stains on their car seats.

All of the demons I used to know -
they are all crowded around computer screens.
Their keyboards smoke as they pound out
their anthems of political decay. Listen: They'll
tell you everything is great again, but there's an
asterisk at the bottom of the page. You gotta
be Caucasian to get the rights we fought so hard
for, and you better not trust the Muslim lawyer
who lives next door. They want you to prick
yourself with your own safety pin, stay in the
echo chamber you've gotten so comfortable in.
They'll laugh at your protests and indulge
in the four years of fear that'll destroy all you
ever held dear. People are waiting for a miracle,

but Jesus died a long time ago, and he's not
coming back, so you better seek your own salvation
with a spray painted sign and stop praying that you
can hit the rewind button. The people spoke? Well,
most of them kept silent, and they'll plead the fifth
when it starts to get violent. Pack your bags, say
goodbye, and fly to the north where you'll keep
that wooden beam safely lodged in your eye.

All of the demons I used to know -
they are all waiting at the bus stop. They've got
jobs like you and me, sketching swastikas
in their cubicles. Look: I've been crying as much
as you have, my hope dying and heart writhing,
and my grief is lasting longer than I thought. They
suck in my sorrow like it's a cheap, cold beer,
every legitimate worry met with a cheap, cold sneer.

All of the demons I used to know -
they are your mother and your father,
your neighbors, the bartender who served you
shots on the weekends. They are the ones wishing
you weren't so weak to sin. You can't see their horns,
but they're there. They're just hidden in their sticky,
black brimstone hair. The demons I used to know,
I've always known, and I can't run away from
them because they've always been home.

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