I Saw the Twin Towers and a Pair of Planes


I wrote this just after Trump's Inauguration on January 20th. This little verse involves some dystopian elements, like a President that reigns over the judiciary, xenophobia and so on. I'm not really happy with the structure yet, but this was the best I could do. I hope you like it :)

I sit in the solitary cell, Waiting for a citizen — The republic’s first,
To pardon or commute
(by means well known, little used, and of ill-repute)
My long, expensive, prolonged death knell.

I won’t save breath. I started in the land of the free,
the home of the few brave,
I ended up, ass over tip, in a penitentiary,
Saw guilty stars on the first of May.

The Chief Executive, with his pudgy hands, holding in his imagined electorate’s vice-like grip,
Gave me a new verse, wax-sealed, signed
with blue-black ink, under the Dome, in the Avenue:
'There are no grounds. What the people want
is Justice. I will not commute.'

At Midnight, the guillotine falls,
or perhaps the firing-squad… It’s not yet time.
What did I do?
Defaced a flag, spat on a statue, loved—
a woman from an Islamic Land,
What is the difference?
Again, I can’t quite tell.

Maybe they’ll have me drowned in the sea,
a subject of more than just breath.
Why is it better now?
a people’s theocracy? A theocratic republic?
Does the farcical march make a difference?
Or is death by an endless farce
just something they like to watch?

Veterans. Men of another century.
What do old men have to do with me?
Old men gather around,
And croak: ‘We were there. We heard the sound.
We heard the Berlin Wall come down.
And in the intervening days,
We've haven't forgotten much,
We’ve put on a few hundred pounds.’

And old men croak, all day long.
In their last dreams and days,
What do they say?
'I saw the ships in Nagasaki Bay.'
What do they say?
'I saw the Twin Towers and a pair of planes.'