November 27, 2018 Poetry , POETRY / FICTION

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Alejandro Escudé




The Missionary of North Sentinel Island



I imagine the missionary’s kayak as a cross

skimming closer to North Sentinel Island

and a tribe left alone by choice, by right.

What a strange sight—the football he brought

as a gift, oblong, the eye of the western God?

This missionary, described as a fervent Christian.

Still, today, empires row their diseases onto

remote islands? Still, they offer their Bibles?

Arrows find their Mark, Mathew, Luke, and John,

to lighten the air, to breach the atmosphere.

The government clearly warned him: not here.

Yet here he would be buried in the sand,

his body, unholy, carried by the unrepentant

who’d also shoot arrows at passing helicopters.

There’s irony in the preacher’s prescient question:

“Why did a little kid have to shoot me today?”

Suppose missionaries are always at a loss. God,

the omnipotent teacher that will not answer.






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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