Jose Luis Oseguera

Sans Dieu Dans le Mond

Because He knew that we wouldn’t always have Him,
they were left onto us, the homeless,
those problems that we’d always have around—
the vilified, the virulent, the victims of our neglect—
yet we left them to die in the streets,
on permanent quarantine: no food or help,
no change, yet nickel-and-dimed, no quarter,
no sanctuary, no Samaritans— good or otherwise— to hear their woes,
no hearth to heat their feet, no place to head home to,
nowhere for God’s orphans to lay their heads.
Instead we’ve placed upon them a virus that preceded pandemic,
a couronne d’épines, a world as dystopian as Dick’s,
as dire as Dickins’, and as divesting as Dickinson’s.
How many COVIDs or flus will it take for us to covet the role of protector
we were given and share the mercy we pray so much for—
the covenant we have with the humanity,
the empathy, the heart we were all born with—
and give our forgotten siblings a Jesus to heal their wounds?

Jose Oseguera is an LA-based writer of poetry, short fiction and literary nonfiction. His writing has been featured in Emrys Journal, The Hiram Poetry Review, and The Literarian. He was named one of the Sixty Four Best Poets of 2019 by the Black Mountain Press.

His work has also been nominated for the Best of the Net award (2018, twice in 2019) as well as the Pushcart (2018 and 2019) and Forward (2020) Prizes. He is the author of the forthcoming poetry collection “The Milk of Your Blood.”

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