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Monday, November 21, 2016


by Jon Wesick

Model Train Museum, Balboa Park, San Diego

Three hours sleep, one hour early
I wander Balboa Park. If only
today was just about healing crystals
and the gentle girl selling yoga pants.
It’s unseasonably hot as if flames of spite
burned the calendar back to August.

There have always been two Americas. Banana Republicans
elected the America of empty promises,
magical thinking, witch hunts, and internment camps;
the America of George Wallace and Bull Connor.

Little hope
for a country this far gone.
If I’m lucky, a lonely exile
of plantains and fried yucca.
The bureaucracy of overseas visas
so disheartening.

There’s a Japanese bridge
in the gully below the tea garden.
Up ahead a Baroque tower
and gold-flecked dome of lapis lazuli.
I’ll miss this place, its people,
my language

One protester shot in Portland.
My bulletproof vest, too bulky
for today. Ten minutes left. No time
for the Model Train Museum’s miniature world,
a world more perfect than this.
I backtrack toward a perilous future

Anti-Trump protesters in Balboa Park. Nov. 12, 2016. Photo by Jean Guerrero/KPBS

Jon Wesick hosts Southern California’s best ice cream parlor poetry reading and is a regional editor of the San Diego Poetry Annual. He’s published hundreds of poems and stories in journals such as the Atlanta Review, Berkeley Fiction Review, Metal Scratches, Pearl, Slipstream, Space and Time, Tales of the Talisman, and Zahir. The editors of Knot Magazine nominated his story “The Visitor” for a Pushcart Prize. His poem “Meditation Instruction” won the Editor’s Choice Award in the 2016 Spirit First Contest. Another poem “Bread and Circuses” won second place in the 2007 African American Writers and Artists Contest. Jon is the author of the poetry collection Words of Power, Dances of Freedom as well as several novels.