The Universe of Obligation (The Samizdat experiment poem #4)

This is the fourth poem of mine published on The Samizdat, my Patreon journal-experiment designed to promote political poetry and give to charities at the same time (the money raised divided between the poet and the charity). If you want to join in this experiment, you can do so here: The Samizdat.

Sometimes after the first poem in this experiment was posted, this blog went down and out into the underbelly of the internet, unfindable and unfound. This is why we’ve missed each other all these months since, and why I’ve not been able to meet your for tea and cake. I’m sorry.

This poem will likely not make you feel better, but it is all I have.

The Universe of Obligation

NO DOGS OR MEXICANS ALLOWED, the sign reads,
but sometimes they let the dogs in. What everyone needs

is not just a bill of rights, but a receipt to prove they paid.
We’re alive! We deserve to live! they cry, right before the raid.

And if someone dies in camp, they deserved that, too. Non-persons
obligate no obligations. And if my inaction worsens

their fate, or the state of our state, no guilt
hydras its way into being. This foundation is built

on the backs of the nameless and, therefore, undying.
Every baby born deserves happiness, we say, but we’re lying.

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