January 5, 2018 Poetry , POETRY / FICTION

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Alejandro Escudé




Mental Fitness



Will it ever be a question on the streets?

Did it ever smack you like an arctic blast

at a bus stop? I accompanied my Spanish cousin

to her job in Madrid. She took three busses

to get to work—everyone in her building

took three busses to get to work; her husband

drove a cab. Tell me, Mr. television news anchor?

Doesn’t it matter if he’s mad? The planet’s concave

plain cannot support the ego. It languishes.

And, yes, it is dirty. But will the ego accept me

and my family? Will I be seen? I’m only asking

because I too have to cross the tributary.

I was also baked into the mud of the country.

You know what’s funny? When your gift cards

refuse to work after Christmas. What does that say?

I was on the phone with Neiman Marcus,

a store I couldn’t afford (a gift card a rich student

gave me), and they apologized for the card

having expired—Somehow, it matters to me.

What does madness say about unemployment?

What does it say about starvation? Worms!

Imagine that, worms in the stomach of a soldier.

What is fitness after all? I see fitness all the time

in Los Angeles. Women are generally fit here

and the men, too. I saw the American flag on

one lady’s yoga pants—just don’t buy gift cards.






Alejandro Escudé

Alejandro Escudé

Alejandro Escudé’s first book of poems, My Earthbound Eye, was published in September 2013. He holds a master’s degree in creative writing from UC Davis and teaches English. Originally from Argentina, Alejandro lives in Los Angeles with his wife and two children.

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