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Sunday, August 07, 2016


by Alejandro Escudé

As the giant bulldozer sets on the Pacific Ocean,
the sidewalks like lines of code, we stalk the tributaries
for the basket carrying a babe who will save us
from ourselves, rotund Botero-like madres slap tortillas
of treatises on the why and how, while u-boats listen in,
a wave breaks, five white horses carrying five bare dictators.
Some remember the Cold War, and Reagan, a nice old man,
I recall feeling for him as a child, knees pressed to my cheeks
beneath a desk, not really understanding what nuclear meant,
a helicopter with a red star, a boxer with platinum flat-top hair,
not this chaotic whispering, a country hardly unearthed
from the rubble of the last century, heroes resigned to knocking
on the president’s door for a medal, a dog bowl of decency.
This nation has gone to war for less, these protean times can’t
always can be summed up by the word “mess.” Now Putin
slams a cold coin on his desk, one head Hillary, the other Trump,
landing with a reckoning thump, a crimson wall behind him,
the words perestroika and glasnost spray-painted in white,
a black pen and a black pen, the wind, the dot of his blue eye.

Alejandro Escudé published his first full-length collection of poems, My Earthbound Eye, in September 2013. He holds a master’s degree in creative writing from UC Davis and teaches high school English. Originally from Argentina, Alejandro lives in Los Angeles with his wife and two children.