by James Penha

My begging him to seek help—
a psychiatrist, medication—
is the proof of my cahoots
with the omnipotent cabal
hacking him, following him,
seizing every shot to uncloak
an interminable presence
in his life to let him know
they mean to drive him mad.
My calling his reality paranoia
feeds the gaslight that sears
his soul and brands me traitor.

A native New Yorker, James Penha has lived for the past quarter-century in Indonesia. Nominated for Pushcart Prizes in fiction and poetry, his LGBTQ stories appear in the Saints & Sinners Literary Festival and the Seattle Erotic Arts Festival Anthologies and in the 2018 Lambda Literary Award winning collection, His Seed. His dystopian poem “2020” is part of the 2017 Not My President collection. Penha edits TheNewVerse.News, an online journal of current-events poetry.