Heartland poems, 3

Death Mask

Jigsaw: Hello Gloria, I want to play a game. So far in what could loosely be called your life you've made a living watching others. Society would call you an informant, a rat, a snitch. I call you unworthy of the body you possess, of the life that you've been given. Now we will see if you are willing to look inward rather than outward to give up the one thing you rely on in order to go on living. The device around your neck is a death mask. The mask is on a spring timer. If you do not locate the key in time the mask will close. Think of it like a Venus flytrap. What you are looking at right now is your own body not more than two hours ago. Don't worry, you're sound asleep and can't feel a thing. Taking into account that you are at a great disadvantage here I'm going to give you a hint as to where I've hidden the key, so listen carefully. The hint is this... It's in Singapore. How much blood will you shed to stay alive, Gloria? Live or die, make your choice.—From a Jigsaw Picture, December 31, 2011

Dear Your Excellency Madam President:
It is time to account what you have
kept away from the history you write.

We gave you on a shining silver
platter the key to the palace. All night long
all day long all time long we gave all

what you need to lead us to where we must go,
away from all these that we have known
like the redundant deceptions of presidents

we allowed for them to tinker the words of our
oath to a heartland we love but that does not know
how to love us back. The oath has none

of those caricatures of your lies,
a thousand of those, and we allowed
you to create some more out of your

swollen, puny pride.
It is land for those of us who till.
It is job for those of who can.

It is liberty for those of us who dream.
From the revolutions of colors, a green to fool
the life out of our incarceration to the yellow

of a praying reformist of a widow
out to appease what needs appeasing
like the elites of old who speak Spanish,

English, Tagalog, strange languages
that do not speak us to your spectacle of abuse,
it is time to account the bright mask you wore

and now the black mask in your head. Look inside
here what empty phrases you plan to reverse,
reorganize to ask for forgiveness from us

one more time. Take this final game
of hide-and-seek. You hide in the daylight
and we seek. You seek in the dark and we hide.

We have thrown the key away,
have it seek its grave in the abyss of our tolerance.
You win, you still lose.

Hon,HI/Jan 1, 2011

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