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Wednesday, September 21, 2016


by Tanmoy Das Lala

“Basket of Deplorables” by Clay Jones, The Moderate Voice.


When you read out loud
the label names, the items,
at first, writhe in shame, then
fume with rage, demand
apology next, then hiss—forking out
their scornful tongues,
multi-pronged, whetted sharp, yet
quick to cry at truths about themselves
they know not how to defend.


Standing along the perimeter of
the basket’s woven toe,
the xenophobe seeks to exclude—
in the guise of security. Everyone,
a foe, barring the throng of people,
whose skins, since birth,
have worn the lucky color of snow.


Each ingredient in the basket
is wrapped and tied
in translucent films
of bigotry. Their gloat
of communion stems not
from an accommodating lens
of salt-and-pepper subsistence,
but from salt alone. The pepper—
they do not care for.


Some residents of the basket
still seek to sway, that the Bible
alone can help, pray the gay away,
that who one can love is a choice
self-paving a heinous fate, and I—
the basket outsider, cling desperately
to the belief that someday love will trump hate.

Tanmoy Das Lala lives in New York City with his partner, Eric and a pea plant. His works have appeared in TheNewVerse.News, Thought Catalog and Chelsea Station Magazine.