Gris-Gris, an online journal of literature, culture & the arts

The Island Planet

by Alejandro Escudé


I’ve decided that whenever I encounter someone evil
I’m going to speak to them in tongues

because to speak in tongues is to lash out for the world,
the suffering child, the minuscule adoration,

the sign of the living god, which is to say, a waterfall,
anointed with misgivings, and to twist

as if I were the devil, because to know him is to love him
as they say about people who have passed

long ago, on a Grecian boat full of souls. Two coins.
The train is here, you’re standing on the railway platform,

the movie on the plane is old, you turn around, you
are no longer a part of the circumstantial kaleidoscope.

Nothing terrible is coming your way, the shape of a yeti,
or a Neanderthal forming circles out of stalagmites,

reminding us that we are all what we have become,
even as the trees fall and the seas engulf our island planet.