Yash Seyedbagheri, Shadow Invasions

Shadow Invasions

once the president’s penis seemed like
a puerile preoccupation
but the economy was good
and once we went Back to the Future
so we could don poodle skirts and sing Mr. Sandman
while a B-actor spoke of cities on a hill
but what of the people

whose shadows spill over
to bursts of neatly-choreographed light
shades of lavender, black, beige, brown, X, Y,
forced to don starched smiles
in the back of buses, bathrooms, and elections
while concealing forbidden erections
so they can’t be converted on a cross of hate

but now
Mr. Sandman’s bombed the city on a hill
waterboarded a thousand souls
and a president’s grabbing more than his penis
while they’re crawling out from therapy
to say I told you so
I told you so

the shadows are deepening

Where

where will we go
after the bells’ last booms
slink into slumber
the clappers capitulate to cold climates
and Quasimodo climbs back into quarantine
what of the final fusillade of fireworks

will we resume seeing Hitler in every speech
every sidewalk, every screen
or will we reach out
and offer a hug
a peace-be-with-you
even if we fumble

will we open a book
or will we relegate knowledge
to an inconvenient bias
and what of night and day
will half of us see navy blue shimmering with stars
and the other a blood red fire

or will we all see a new moon murmuring
and smiling
while shadows dart?
let’s keep the bells ringing
booming, booming,
keep the clappers calling, dear Quasi

Orange Haze

I wander through the haze
orange and burning
I want to wander into the deepest forests
but they’ve been cut down
stumps of pines
whispering sorrow
the day is only beginning

Yash Seyedbagheri is a graduate of Colorado State University’s MFA fiction program. His stories, ‘Soon’ and ‘How To Be A Good Episcopalian’ have been nominated for Pushcarts. Yash’s work has been published in The Journal of Compressed Creative Arts, Write City Magazine, and Ariel Chart, among others.

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