Skip to Content

Can Safety Matches Make Us Safe?

By Judith Arcana

You read the tiny cardboard book before
you scratch the strip under Augie's New Pizza
on the back of MIA: We still don't know
(and isn't that the truth?). Earn college
credit at home,
taking tests on a screen
being screened. Bad credit? We can help.
Remember to close cover before striking
or go out on strike /// three strikes: you're out
of the fire into a plastic frying pan, teflon
on electric glowing rings - not like when
your phone rings and someone tells you
what you know you don't want to know.

Added: Thursday, July 3, 2014  /  First published in 5AM (Summer 2011). Used with permission.
Judith Arcana
Photo by Nashco.

Judith Arcana writes poems, stories essays, and books. A high school English teacher in the 1960's Judith was fired, as were many in those years, considered dangerously radical by the school board. She's written poems and stories about reproductive health and justice, rooted in her work in the pre-Roe chicago abortion underground. Her poetry collection, Announcements from the Planetarium (Flowstone Press, 2017), examines memory, wisdom, and the experience of aging into new consciousness. 4th Period English, her poems in the voices of high school students arguing about immigration, is back in print (Eberhardt Press, 2018). Judith hosts a poetry show on KBOO in Oregon and online. For more info and writing, visit Judith's website.

Other poems by this author