This is by Darius Simpson, from the most recent issue of American Poetry Review.


Instead of Raising Wages the Gov’t

raised the roof clean off an entire Black section of the city
inflated gas prices to the size of a senator’s helium ego
built an unstable bridge made of worn hundred dollar bills
over the atlantic to make a plantation(democracy) of new territory
sent a blank check to a settler colony and said make a wish
sent a fleet of drones to a peaceful town and said i wish you would
sent donation emails to people who struggled to pay rent this month
disappeared into a secret castle the day after the polls closed
spun a fairytale about civic duty to euthanize the masses
printed accidentally honest election stickers that said vote and die
told protesters the best way to resist was to play a part in the circus
i say we deserve better and my peers call me an extremist
gov’t says we gotta kill entire villages and my peers call it sacrifice
or worse my peers change the channel or worse my peers bat
barely an eye and forgive the last genocide for the sake of peace
if we don’t get tired of writing beautiful poems after catastrophes
i fear soon the ink will run red and the rivers dry and the words out