May 8, 2017 Poetry , POETRY / FICTION

AFP photo



Alejandro Escudé



Love Between Dictators



Let’s not go there—authoritarianism

and blood, where the sweeping goings on

lag and spill, a dagger that inches into the

forehead of Christ, boulevards converging

on a magenta-colored temple where

the queen keeps a scrapbook no different

than an Oregon housewife. “Lie still,” he says.

Lie. Still. The butterfly of truth flutters

her wings and the effect is felt everywhere,

even where democracy is a printed book

and nothing else—my father, reminiscing

of military dictatorship, recalls walking

arm in arm with my mother over streets

that were finally safe. “Safe streets,” he said.

Let them meet. Let them bless confetti,

let them hang their egos on a coatrack,

their sweaty hands rubbing, their eyelids

trembling. Respect is, after all, sexual.

What kind of deal would they strike?

You can have a missile replete with flowers

and the dead bodies of children, if you

promise not to nuke my movie stars.

You can make a monument to the army

out of drug dealer spleens, if you agree

to open your country for business. How safe

it would be at noontime, with its planetary

mesh of helicopters, their weekends

spent smoking cigars on warships. Glory

at last, without shame. Glory for us all.












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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