The plot thickens every year

Poem

The air was hot inside
The steam of engine exhaust
I too, was spent on the seat
And the mechanic’s father said to me
That he didn’t trust Hillary
And when I asked why that is
He whispered gravely, She’s Jewish

The elders of zion call to order
A meeting that never takes place
The plot thickens every year
And I must save face

The air was hot inside
Steam rising from my wet curls
Wheezing blow-dryer by my ear
That’s the sound she made
When she muttered, that the Germans know about deception
That their economy was bled by bankers
And Hitler tried and failed

What can you do?
She knows I’m Pan-American
But grasps half the truth
When she says I look like a Jew

The elders of zion call to order
A meeting that never takes place
The plot thickens every year
And I must save face

The air was cold inside
Because the arid day
Made deserts of the hallways
At the hours that kids play
And we hid in the art-room
Sitting on gashes of paper
And my friend told me plainly
That Judeans don’t help their neighbors

That was ten years ago
Before we’d seen the world
I was a boy and she was a girl
Collaging hints of prejudice

The elders of zion call to order
A meeting that never takes place
The plot thickens every year
And I must save face

And I read about the elders
Who killed their prodigal son
He tried to change his people
By speaking to everyone
But has anybody listened
Or is it baked into the text
That the evil rooted in Christianity
Doesn’t walk on its hind legs?

Several years ago
My father told me
That people take much too personally
Events that occurred so long ago
But Passover asks me to feel
That I too was let go
From the House of Bondage
Out into the plain
To rejoice in newfound freedom
And generational pain

I don’t understand
How it rears its ugly head:
The devil antisemitism
Is never truly dead

Yet the elders of zion call to order
A meeting that never takes place
The plot thickens every year
And I must save face

© Elio Icaza-Milson, 2021

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