By: Paul Iasevoli
Tonight I learned a new term
on the Nightly News as the words
“concertina wire” crawled
above pixelated pictures
of kids caged on a cold, high plain;
their mothers waiting
behind fences blowing
kisses through hurricane mesh—
a substance so porous I wondered how
it could stop the savage winds
of a storm the Taíno named
for their god of evil.
Then, in the flip of one quick bite,
my mind turned back
to that razor-wired concertina,
expecting it to play
a love song, a lullaby,
but this was no instrument of music.
Rather a manifest of metallic malice.
Paul Iasevoli holds a Master’s degree in Latin-American literature. He lives on the Suncoast of Florida where he writes stories and poems, tucks them into wine bottles, and tosses them into the Gulf of Mexico. Some have resurfaced in journals like Deep South Magazine, High Shelf Press, Cathexis, and City.River.Tree.
Artist statement for "Evil Accordion":
While watching the nightly news, I realized how a linguistic euphemism can serve to mollify the reality of children held in cages at the US-Mexico border. A heart-wrenching image of a mother attempting to kiss her son through a hurricane fence was also part of the video report— hence, this poem unfurled.