Untied, tied, bound, gagged
squirming and groaning
forced to piss ourselves
duct-taped and superglued shut.
U.S., the U.S., the 'us', the us versus the them
them invaders with funny long names
they dare to stand and speak and act
black latino asian women maybe gay
not 'us'. not our U. S. A.
Divide and conquer ourselves
waiting in the dark for an exquisite
in the dark where critics disappear
where rape happens beatings dishonor, then eventually
light is inevitable.
Can we heal hug regroup recommit
take special tools to cut string
tape blindfolds chains
break locks uncover windows
all together. outside in the sun
join in circles holding hands
smiling singing of corny love?
or is beating fascism like COVID-19?
as soon as one mutation is gone
it's time again to quarantine?
E. Martin Pedersen, originally from San Francisco, has lived for over 40 years in eastern Sicily, where he taught English at the local university. His poetry appeared most recently in Ginosko, Metaworker, Triggerfish, Unlikely Stories Mark V, and Grey Sparrow Review among others. Martin is an alumnus of the Community of Writers. He has published two collections of haiku, Bitter Pills, and Smart Pills, and a chapbook, Exile's Choice, just out from Kelsay Books. A full collection, Method & Madness, is forthcoming from Odyssey Press. Martin blogs at: https://emartinpedersenwriter.blogspot.com