Pepe the Frog
I saw you for the first time
over a year ago, your bulging eyes
and algae green grin croaked,
“Be nice, man”
in a meme sent by a friend.
A couple weeks later,
you leapt across my computer
screen again. As I scrolled,
you smiled the words,
“Feels good, man.”
And, it did. So positive.
I barely recognized you
wearing a heavy orange wig,
in a t-shirt with a swastika,
for everyone to see on Facebook!
I whispered under my breath, squinting at you,
“¿Qué te pasó? ”
But, I’ve only seen you speak English,
Pepe, so I’m not sure you understand.
Born on the internet,
you’ve never known
a deep blue lake
where you could be who you are--
your only agenda your own:
light reflecting and lily pads
and singing in the Spring.
To the screen, I plead,
“But, Pepe, they want to drain the swamp.”
Last night, in a dream, I asked you,
Pepe, to not deny your name:
So, you threw away the wig and burned the t-shirt
and jumped The Wall in a single bound,
by basking in the rainbow colored neighborhoods
of Oaxaca and then in the dark, night jungles
of Chiapas. You spoke freely then--There--
as we danced the merengue until dawn.
When I woke--Here--
to white hoods and hate, and the sky
Cloudy all day, I was sad it was over.
Sad because going There makes
a real difference. Sad for the past
and, “Be nice, man.”
Sad for Here, my home,
where now I can’t even imagine
kissing you and hoping for a prince.