Catch 22, Part 2 | Michael Prihoda

i am accused,

the distance

immaterial.

North Africa

is not Los Angeles.

it is certainly not

Vancouver.

you seem

to write history

for the rest

of us.

but

you can’t

fuck

with my

geography.


Michael Prihoda lives in central Indiana. He is the founding editor of After the Pause, an experimental literary magazine and small press. His work has received nominations for the Pushcart Prize and the Best of the Net Anthology and he is the author of nine poetry collections, most recently Out of the Sky (Hester Glock, 2019).

He is on Twitter at @michaelprihoda

Catch-22, Part 1 | Michael Prihoda

Contains violent imagery and references to torture

“you’ll let
me go

if i give
you the name

of a Middle-Eastern
man

i once knew?” even
if he drowned

in the Black
sea?

you bring
the bucket back.

“if you’re not
a terrorist,

surely you
know a terrorist.”

it becomes
hard to breathe.

i am back
in the womb.

more than water
makes this unspeakable.

“if you’re not
a terrorist,

surely you’ll
give up terrorists.

save yourself.
why won’t you save yourself?”

don’t you see?
every breath

of water
brings heaven closer?


Michael Prihoda lives in central Indiana. He is the founding editor of After the Pause, an experimental literary magazine and small press. His work has received nominations for the Pushcart Prize and the Best of the Net Anthology and he is the author of nine poetry collections, most recently Out of the Sky (Hester Glock, 2019).

He is on Twitter at @michaelprihoda