Autopsy: A New Poem by Sherman Alexie

    Sherman Alexie reflects on President Trump's immigration ban through poetry

    Autopsy

    Last night, I dreamed that my passport bled.
    I dreamed that my passport was a tombstone
    For our United States, recently dead.
    I dreamed that my passport was made of bone—

    That it was a canoe carved out of stone.
    “But I can’t swim,” I said. “I will drown
    If I can’t make the shore. I’ll die alone
    In the salt. No, my body will be found

    With millions of bodies, all of them brown.”
    I dreamed that my passport was a book of prayers,
    Unanswered by the gods, but written down
    By fact checkers in suits. “There are some errors

    In your papers,” they said. Then took me downstairs
    To a room with fingernails on the floor.
    I dreamed that my passport was my keyware,
    But soldiers had set fire to the doors,

    To all doors—a conflagration of doors.
    I dreamed that my passport was my priest:
    “Sherman, will you battle the carnivores
    Or will you turn and abandon the weak?

    Will you be shelter? Or will you concede?”
    Last night, I dreamed that my passport was alive
    When it entered the ICU. It breathed, it breathed,
    Then it sighed and closed its eyes. It did not survive.

    ©2017, Sherman Alexie


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    Featured Photo: Fibonacci Blue / Flickr  (CC )

    • Sherman Alexie


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