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Wednesday, February 05, 2020


by Judith Terzi

The camera zooms in on Healthy Hands
in a Senate hallway. As they pile into
the chamber, do Senators sanitize? Not all.
Some don't wish to purify, break away
from the prize of dirty manos. The Chief
Justice walks briskly down this ornate
road. We don't know if his hands are
sterilized. We don't see him sanitize––
no Purell odor as he enters the chamber.
All we know is that he wants his hands
tied as he listens blankly to two sides,
perhaps counting backwards counter
clockwise. Try reading his face, his eyes.
Does he recognize the twists & turns
of truth, the spoof of lawyers? The Justice
never shows surprise when they
dramatize, aggrandize their battle cries.

Try & visualize justice biting into a burger
& freedom fries & à la mode apple pies,
as long black robes are shed for good
along with red, white & blue striped ties.

Author of Museum of Rearranged Objects (Kelsay Books, 2018) as well as of five chapbooks, Judith Terzi's poetry appears widely in literary journals and anthologies, has received nominations for a Pushcart and Best of the Net and Web, and has been read on Radio 3 of the BBC. A former educator, she taught high school French for many years as well as English at California State University, Los Angeles, and in Algiers, Algeria.