21st Century Accomplice

21st Century Accomplice

A Poem by Marie Anzalone


There is you, with the mirror,

standing inside, looking out.


You run your fingers in waves

through your indignation;

arranging each strand of disgust,

trying to cover that receding

visceral discomfort line,

the baldness of shame.

The decades of lost opportunities.

There is blame here, somewhere.


Your whiteness, taste in beer-

inability to pass

high school geography-

make you uniquely qualified

to discern it.

You would call the shots

as you see them.

You delight each morning

in last night’s antics

of providers of casual cruelty.


Do you mask your indifference

with inflated concern for

the perfectly manicured lawn? Or

simply harbor secret desires

for a disease that wipes out

only f**s and Jews. And maybe

liberal arts majors, too.



You instruct your wife

to bake avarice

into something passable for

the Thanksgiving table.

You don’t want your kids

going to school with Theirs;

You hate sharing a road

with Them.


Maybe you fantasize

about my face on a target

at the firing range after

Church on Sunday. And oh

you would tell Them-

for Their own good,

of course, in strictest


a little comeuppance

might be a grand thing.


By God, if only you were

in charge of Things,

They would know

their rightful place. You

would gladly sell

your neighbor’s pension

to stockbrokers. It is your

civic duty to report to the

proper authorities anyone

with a too ethnic accent.


It’s just the way it is,

you would say. Just the way

thing HAVE to be. The world

never was made for

any type of magic, the world

will not let you hold on to

the things that are beautiful.



You are behind the mirror,

and mirrors do not lie, they

just distort the truthiness

a little. Or a lot.


Telling it like it is.


Time honored, tested,

Universal shorthand for:

I only have a piece of the story,

and I want to make sure

that you live in a world

as cruel, and small,

as mine.



© 2017 Marie Anzalone

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Added on October 12, 2017
Last Updated on October 12, 2017


Marie Anzalone
Marie Anzalone

Xela, Quetzaltenango, Guatemala

Bilingual poet, essayist, novelist, and technical writer working in Central America. "A poet's work is to name the unnameable, to point at frauds, to take sides, start arguments, shape the world, .. more..