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Friday, October 11, 2019


by Emily Jo Scalzo

"The Swamp" by John Cuneo.

the scar tissue of America’s soul
at its core the betrayal and genocide
upon which we were founded
surrounded by others through history
a throbbing fibrous mess
pockets of infection
waiting to surface

kids in cages
parents packed in cells
seeking to escape the scars
America’s created elsewhere
children returning from school
to homes raided and empty
ghosts of innocence

alternative facts and distrust
journalists labelled enemies of the people
scientists defunded and censored
the second a man enamored of theocracy

neo-Nazis galvanized in the streets
attack protesters with impunity
veterans’ efforts in Europe negated

children strike for climate awareness
specters of their futures dimmed
churches celebrate Armageddon
expecting rapture for failed stewardship

one party mired in racist xenophobia
the other craven in identity crisis

same shit
different president
and we still swirl the drain

Emily Jo Scalzo holds an MFA in fiction from California State University-Fresno and is currently an assistant teaching professor teaching research and creative writing at Ball State University in Muncie, Indiana. Her work has appeared in various magazines including Midwestern Gothic, Mobius: The Journal of Social Change, Blue Collar Review, TheNewVerse.News, and others. Her first chapbook The Politics of Division was published in 2017 and awarded honorable mention in the Eric Hoffer Book Awards in 2018.