February 19, 2018 Poetry , POETRY / FICTION

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Emily Madapusi Pera




Concealing Trump



You wouldn’t know it to look at him,

with his girth and his hair,

but he’s remarkably easy to hide.


Paper is the blackout curtain of our times:

contracts, legalese, emails,

all layers on top of

money, the crucial ingredient;


not only for payoffs

but for purchasing stories so they’d never see

the light of the supermarket aisle.


When the deeds of the flesh were done,

handoffs were made to paper pushers:

the intermediaries, bodyguards and personal attorneys –

the bureaucrats of affairs.


Their penstrokes and text-taps

formed the curtain and drew it tight,

not just around hotel windows,

for Shark Week viewing between sheet-sessions;


but in everyday life too,

this curtain of impunity wrapped around him

like a cloak woven with secrecy,

trimmed with money,

lined with deceit.


He deployed it at pool parties and public events,

alone and in the presence of pregnant wives

and daughters-in-law.


After each deployment,

the paper-pushers assessed the damage,

threatened the maimed and buried the bodies

under mounds of non-disclosure agreements

and a topsoil of cash and coercion.


For bodies are stories, and stories are bodies:

they keep piling up, their weight heavier

than any fat check.


The pile is now growing

past the reach of the paper-pushers,

past the border of deniability,

and taller than any wall

a human could build.


The pile is growing…

will it blot out Trump’s sun,

or shield him

from the full light of reckoning?






Emily Madapusi Pera

Emily Madapusi Pera is a writer based in Providence, RI. Previous credits include Scout & Birdie, Back to Print, and Tuck Magazine. She believes in the twin cleansing forces of sunlight and investigative journalism.

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