Submission Guidelines: Send unpublished poems in the body of an email (NO ATTACHMENTS) to nvneditor[at] No simultaneous submissions. Use "Verse News Submission" as the subject line. Send a brief bio. No payment. Authors retain all rights after 1st-time appearance here. Scroll down the right sidebar for the fine print.

Saturday, May 30, 2015


by Siham Karami

Egypt: Rape and sexual violence perpetrated by security forces 'surges' under el-Sisi's regime in campaign to 'eliminate public protest' —The Independent (UK), May 19, 2015

Hail to the army! All hail the police!
Stay out of trouble and give us a piece!
Of what, you'll find out—meanwhile, we own the street!
Our weapons are loaded. You're lucky to eat.
To us, you are sugar, and we are the ants.
So get in the station, and pull down your pants!

We round up the students, professors, the doctors,
the girls in hijab, the sons and the daughters,
with Al-Sisi's blessing and superpower bucks,
we barrel-bomb neighborhoods, get free-for-all fucks,
make everyone watch so they'll know in advance
how bad things can get when they pull down their pants!!

No one can touch us! We do as we please!
The law says you're guilty, so crush you like fleas!
We grab you from classes, dispose you at will.
Then parents go looking—their spines feel the chill!
So scream—and we'll charge there's a bomb in your hands—
c'mon little terrorists, pull down your pants!!

We'll fuck you at your place in front of your man.
Your daddy's on death row, so get in the van!
We write up the charges, the judge slams his gavel:
Guilty as charged! Tomorrow the gallows!
The tears of the mourning will only enhance
the pleasure we get when you pull down your pants!!

We're the new god in town. How we barged through the door,
told a Brotherhood bitch to get down on the floor.
She carried her baby and dared to talk back!
So we threw the kid out of the window, like smack!
And we tore off her clothes and we told her to dance
with police stations ringing out: Pull down your pants!!

Siham Karami's recent work is or will be published in such places as The Comstock Review, The Rotary Dial, Möbius, Measure, Unsplendid, and The Raintown Review. She works in the tech industry by day, and spends nights with poetry, owls, and medicinal herbs.