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Monday, July 01, 2019


by Pepper Trail

Twitter @rodriguezmonos

A deadening     a twist
            in the mouth     the heart

When personal –
            for an act     a thought
            shame is an ember
                                        a burning a thing to attend to
            extinguish or
                                     fan to flame     the better to see
           our darkness

But this—political— 
                                for my country
            for children in cages
            for father and child
      embracing in the river     dead
            for a monster whose reason not to rape is            
    “not my type”        
               for men     hands on Bibles
                                                     claiming dominion over women’s bodies
            for the highest court endorsing the lowest deceits
            for the cultivation of fear
                                                  the exaltation of hate
            for the endless
                                                lies    until we are bludgeoned

In this     I find no     
                           ember no gleam of light
In this darkness        
                        I howl
                                    but hear no echo

Only silence

Pepper Trail is a poet and naturalist based in Ashland, Oregon. His poetry has appeared in Rattle, Atlanta Review, Spillway, Kyoto Journal, Cascadia Review, and other publications, and has been nominated for Pushcart and Best of the Net awards. His collection Cascade-Siskiyou was a finalist for the 2016 Oregon Book Award in Poetry.