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Tuesday, April 16, 2019


by Alejandro Escudé

Couldn’t he have moved to Ecuador? Surrounded by parrots and monkeys,
and colonial era churches? Instead, bearded, he was ushered

into a police van in London, and I pictured Sherlock Holmes standing off to one side,
a grin on his pointy face, pipe in hand, uttering something cheeky.

How else to process this 9/11 man? This walking man-virus
who somehow snatched the biggest governments on Earth
like a father might snatch his little son by the ear, dragging them to their perspective rooms.

White-haired wizard now, Assange protested his apprehension,
London traffic like a street scene in Thomas the Train;

because this time is…and was…a cave full of glittering fossils, mandibles of early hominids, skulls or skull fragments, roaring time signatures,
blue birds oozing from fissures in the once-dark ceilings.

Ecuadorians said Assange's residence was no longer tenable. A tree, alabaster white,
growing in his room, the roots digging deep, reaching for the planetary pole,
emailed enigmas, evil conspiracies,

a G-Man in Dealey Plaza, bullets screaming past, halting
mid-air, like satellites approaching the black hole of history,

and there, Assange, naked, albino, crucified on a hill outside the city’s firewalls.
I want to ask him what was the ultimate secret
he was searching for? I want to stroll over the glassy Thames
with him, like a heavenly correspondent
interviewing an implacable terrorist, the devil made flesh, a fiberoptic alien,

and just listen to the diatribe of his breathing,
and feast on what he sought, and probe as to what he’d embezzled
from the pressing otherness of our voiceless governments.

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.