“My Body Is Antifa” by Alejandro Escudé

Alejandro Escudé


There’s a city in my body
and its been barricaded, its walls
spray-painted, mural-full; less
a collection of neighborhoods
and more a labyrinth of walls
made of garnished elephants
so that the metropolis wobbles
and throbs. Belonging is its motto,
every citizen on his or her knees,
the only cars a caravan of bees
and no governor like a Macy’s
balloon pulled down a boulevard
by a team of black-clad troops.
My body is Antifa, and I stand
for language without the burden
of truth. I give you cracked hands,
tear-gassed eyes, and unidealized
love. No statues to view, killers
on horseback, young soldiers
marching to certain death,
dated clothes so bloody they
stand alone. Let me guide you
to the precinct where restraints
are scrapped like metal to forge
new human braces, cups, plates,
large shared spoons to pour
sick meat into glorious molds.

from Poets Respond
June 14, 2020


Alejandro Escudé: “It’s time for a recreation. We all feel like tearing everything down and starting all over. I now that’s how I feel within my own body, where my spirit resides. The story of the protesters in Seattle who took over the Capitol Hill neighborhood made me think of Walt Whitman’s call for a greater democratic spirit in America and his symbol for that: the human body. Its sacredness, the way it cannot and shouldn’t be violated. Perhaps that’s the only real conflict there ever was.”

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