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Sunday, September 08, 2019


by Alejandro Escudé

“The public needs to prepare for unimaginable information about the death toll and the human suffering.” —Bahamas Health Minister Dr. Duane Sands.

You shall prepare for the unimaginable.
The unimaginable tree that you will use
To construct a boat. The lighting that will strike
You as you’re falling into the pit. What pit?
You imagine that too, though it’s unimaginable.
Food can’t be imagined, unless one is a child.
And neither can healthcare, again,
Unless one remembers playing doctor.
You can’t imagine another planet, can you?
Another President with larger, more capable hands?
A car is a figment of the imagination, a flying car
To rescue you from your home, as it floats
Upon the sea. Wreckage is medieval marginalia—
You can use wreckage to make a poster,
As you might use macaroni to make art.
Can you imagine a stronger heart
To support the death you can’t imagine?
The death that begins on the unimaginable horizon,
Where dark clouds meet the rising sea,
Whispering, then shouting, then screaming
For help from the unimaginable authorities
Flying in on their helicopters, which are nothing
More than dragonflies, hovering above
A shallow pond, and the inundated world below.

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.