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Charlie Waddle - Election Night // Hurricane // Abortion (terror in 7 stanzas) : a sestina

from Is There Another Language? by Gezellig Records

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on election night, it is late
when the gathering, that is no longer a party,
ends. The walk home mostly silent
rainy November night has no concern for union’s fractured state
it waits for morning, washes light away
but fails to consider that darkness cannot be safe

you are not safe
television warns. the ocean is violent, even if its fury arrives late
hold sense of fear, do not lull it away
remember hurricane feeling: ignore the wind, pretend we are at a party
don’t listen to voice, it is easy to numb horrified state
because after storm there is always silence

post-disaster, survivors languish in silence
forget that they ever felt safe
help often arrives months late
appalled at the state
of affairs, questions why they (survivors, mothers) did not go away
they (survivors, mothers) say : this is home & existence has always been greater than president, politics, or party

the night of the storm: I am going to a party
not yet angry or silent
when I arrive, the host takes my thing away
I leave with a man, who does not feel un-safe
but familiar. where are my clothes: is the only thing I ask in my dream-state
later, I tell my mother that reality and nightmare are indistinguishable as of late

I am late
this time, it’s not for a party
“I will call it the thing that my body begot”. The State
does not listen, tells me to keep silent
the thing drifting inside is safe
I beg to for them to please send it away

terror cannot comprehend (away)
it sits heavy, stays late.
afterwards, it is not easy to reclaim the sensation of safe,
whether at party
or home, but it is nice to know that this state
of unrest and anger is ours, inalienable, safety rebukes silence

storm comes during party, that’s when we realize it is much too late.
to predict current state of emergency would have been a miracle. the sound of stunned silence
takes my breath away. it is difficult to fathom that one day again we will feel safe


from Is There Another Language?, released January 20, 2017
Poem by and read by Charlie Waddle
Drones by Peter McCarville


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