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Monday, November 14, 2016


by Jaimee Hills

Are people safe? You've struck a chord
as we become an angry horde.
Appreciate the optics, now you’ve stopped her.
With painted signs, they chant, they sing,
the minor crowd, assembling,
as cloudy skies compose a helicopter.

A vote inside a vote machine
meaningless but for what it could mean
felt like gambling in a bankrupted casino.
The votes rolled in, in waves like water;
the careless don’t care about my daughter,
heat rising like the shock of jalapeño.

Though someone else's dream is you,
dream on we do, dream on we do,
hardy as the gardens of Pompeiians.
The flowers find the seasons strange,
there’s a changing to their change,
squalled shorelines and the stooping Himalayans.

It’s not illegal just to breathe.
We’ve always struggled. Always seethe.
It feels the wind is howling, blowing through you.
Within the ocean's current form
a shifting rage, a stirring storm,
the bitter burning tongue of Hallelujah.

Jaimee Hills is the author of How to Avoid Speaking, winner of the 2014 Anthony Hecht Poetry Prize. She has been a featured reader in the O.B. Hardison Poetry Series at the Folger Shakespeare Library and her work has appeared in Best New Poets, Mississippi Review, Drunken Boat, Blackbird, and elsewhere. She teaches at Marquette University and lives in Milwaukee, WI.