Dystopia: Mycology By Troy Kody Cunio

Dystopia: Mycology

when nature is subversive
without needing symbolism
to be subversive
each leaf of grass         or unburnt dinosaur
is a footsoldier in the resistance

when love is insurgency
Cardenal comes out of retirement
Lorca rises from the dirt
49 of my neighbors rise from the dirt
and a kiss becomes protest sign
sex is exercising the right to peaceably assemble
pleasure-cries against the despot
echo like slogans across the courthouse steps

when the young are learning to fear mushrooms
the way our parents and grandparents did
to look forward with hope is a history lesson
building a house or planting a garden
is as much preparation as denial

the only response to those who erect walls
is to add a roof           windows             doors
the only answer to the tolling
bells of persecution is to say your prayers
through a megaphone
against a line of riot shields and helmets
strip naked and dance circles with Rumi

in the face of dystopia               dance
if your body is dystopia             let your mind dance instead
if your mind is wasteland         stillness is a rhythm
dance before police before        fascists
dance with the trees
and alone in your room              dance before the guns
if you have no trees nearby        dance with skyscrapers
if you have no room you are       dancing already

if you have no police, fascists, or guns, give thanks
and then find those who do     they are not far away
place your movement between them and the terror
you were so recently a part of

when metaphor is a political tool of the regime
when erasure is the government
-approved method of editing
the past and future
to speak
is the purest form of poetry
to be sincere is more important than to be correct
which is why here I mean every word
especially the ones I left unwritten

By Troy Kody Cunio

A poem from Disarm: A Themed issue Responding to Mass Shootings in America


Troy Kody Cunio lives in Orlando. Their work has been published in Dream Pop, Voicemail Poems, Button Poetry, Great Weather for Media, Rising Phoenix Review, The Beech Street Review, and others. They have performed at slams, open mics, dance parties, punk shows, art museums, streetcorners, and messy breakups all over the country. A Best of the Net Nominee, Troy won the first Poetry Slam Incorporated Online Slam and is the uneditor of Rejected Lit. Yes, they would like a hug. Visit them at troykodycunio.com.

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