I accidently knocked over
the Singer sewing machine,
an old black metal one I found
in a junk store.
It sits on my front stoop,
yard art, I call it.
All the neighbors stare walking by,
and only one has asked,
why do you have a sewing machine
on your steps?
Or the neighbor who uses it
in her directions, as in,
go 2 houses past the sewing machine.
But today that 40 lb machine
fell on its side,
and I thought of you,
and what you might think
in these dark days of our republic.
You, who raised me with all your
fiery rhetoric about democracy,
who used a Singer sewing machine
to put food on our table,
and kept sewing even when your
finger got pulled under the needle
and you slowly turned the wheel
and until it came out,
wrapped it with a white cotton strip
the red so bright
as you kept sewing.
Abigail Warren lives and works in Western Massachusetts. Her poetry has appeared in Tin House, Delmarva Review, Hawai'i Pacific Review, and numerous other journals. Her essays have been published in SALON and Huffington Post.
The Nazis are back in town.
No, I know. They never, ever left.
The things I never said, I said them like a man.
Like a man I insist I never said those things.
And afterwards I will assert I never said the second thing,
layer on layer of vow, disavowal. And what I believe,
you shall believe; there is only one thought and it is me.
My smell wipes across the thought of him. Crying in a pin stripe business suit. There was an accident. Perfect bodies lose perfection like melting ice. Crowns of thorns are passed out, metal trinkets to place in private. Kiss the blood rolling down.
I keep having this dream where
the white man isn’t angry
the black man entered
the white house.
There is a cabin by the bouldered beaches
of Northern California,
where the pines practically toe the foam.
This is where he’ll go, and off will come
his tailored suits,
his lacquered shoes,
his streak of blood-red tie.
She’s been sitting in the passenger seat of my car for a week.
She won’t wear her seatbelt and she won’t come in at night.
We are the easy targets
to the men who hide behind
the thin veil of life
the men in Washington
who pretend that they care.
It’s nice to scream
“This is what democracy looks like”
With a hundred people you’ve never met before.
Of course we knew what was at stake.
We all had that pill between our teeth
the gelatin cap
would not burst
no matter how hard we bit down