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Postmodern Village
est. 1999
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Pepe the Frog
by Monica

Pepe the Frog by Matt FurieI 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.


Until--just yesterday--

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,

saving yourself

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.