Tiel Aisha Ansari: You Bring Out the Lynch Mob in Me

                      Ida & the Preacher, by Mary Hatch, 1990 oil on canvas, 36” x 40”


You Bring Out the Lynch Mob in Me

You bring out the midnight knock, the knotted noose in me
The sheet with holes, the burning cross, the blown-up black church in me
You bring out things I never knew in me, the jackboots, submachine guns, barbed wire in me
You bring out the knife and the gasoline-filled tire in me
The chokehold, gun to the back of the head, jail-cell “suicide” with mysterious camera malfunction in me

With you I burn mosques, bomb synagogues, desecrate burial grounds
With you I put all the bathroom signs back the way they should be
and if anyone suffers it’s their fault for being different
and you say it’s God’s will because you know I don’t dare believe that God is Love
You bring out the spite in me and fatten it on a diet of alternative facts
You bring out the fear in me and promise a wall to keep me safe
You bring out the hatred in me and promise a war to make me strong
You plow me and sow me with dragon’s teeth to bring out an army
But be careful, Mr. President: the legions I breed cannot be dismissed
know no master
and will bite the hands that feed.

Tiel Aisha Ansari

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