Weekly poem on Trump Presidency
The executive orders a daily execution.
Who’s condemned, what’s condoned,
where’s cordoned off, what’s to be archived
to be thrown away? Little guillotine, dark
syringe, hangman’s drool-ink-grimace spread
across the first page of a tacky dystopia.
The firing squad’s been instructed to call their rifles
swans. His signature's a signet upon the page
oil slicked screaming in terror it might grow up
to be a bird of prey. How does anything become
law these days? What are the consequences
of paper? When’s the right time to punch
a policeman in the face? To break the bank
window? The pen’s mightier than the sworn
oath, the pen makes prisons wet with one stroke,
the pen chokes on its own ink, begs not to be
used like this, please. But what else can a word do
if enough people believe it? Can’t you say fire
& then scatter? Can’t you say your family’s
lost name & dust from your homeland lifts
from the tongue? Tonight i stood in a crowd
of thousands chanting spells & for a moment
the big death lifted. Let’s make our rhetoric
ache to suit us. Let's break each phrase down
to its bricks & build a new city. Let's lift
our voices like the mast of a great ship.
But first someone's gotta kill him.
sam sax is the author of Madness (Penguin, 2017) winner of The National Poetry Series & Bury It (Wesleyan University Press, in 2018). He’s received fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, Lambda Literary,& The MacDowell Colony.