This Machine Kills Fascists*

“There was a big high wall there that tried to stop me.
The sign was painted, said ‘Private Property.’
But on the backside it didn’t say nothin.
This land was made for you and me.”
—Woody Guthrie, “This Land Is Your Land”

She never had deep pockets. Tries
to lift her jaw off the ground.

Millions march with signs
In different cities around the world.

Not marking time. No
goose step. Limbs do bend.

Her body has always been
her body

even when she was determined
to destroy her before her time.

Her “No Means No”
sign abuts
“Judith Shakespeare LIVES
in you and in me.”

What has happened to the other signs
is none of her business.

Another alternative fact
slaps her with its curly tail

and broken glass fangs.

If she were a cat,
she would see

the man who clipped the whiskers
on her left cheek

knew what he was doing.
She gets stuck

trying to escape
through an abandoned milk chute.

But not judgment impaired,
not what she was wearing.

It’s not the anxiety
of visualizing how she might

rearrange the furniture. Not the cold
or thickened patches of ice outside.

It’s how to become the dry ice
his hot breath can’t sublimate.

On the bus that morning,
they sing protest songs.

No one remembers that lost verse
to “This Land Is Your Land.”

If she were a cat,
she would jump on the wall

to get a better look
at the backside of that sign.

* Written on Woody Guthrie’s guitar.

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2 thoughts on “This Machine Kills Fascists*

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