Journalism In Verse


Double Jeopardy

in Health/Politics by

Her kisser is in LOL mode. Not because her body
is racked up with ribaldry fluid. No, she is vulnerable – shush,
I can lose my first daughter for saying the word — because she can’t
break the news to me: a (s)hero is growing inside her. This abortus is my Scion.

Let’s lionize this seed—or neonate—or this fetus—who will sit in the oval.
I apologize again for saying fetus. I’m sorry for this fetus and me. Where is our
entitlement, our liberty? We’re stripped of it. Perchance. I apologize again: me pinched
red-handed on a three count charge. I may not see this fetus when the water breaks, and she

will be born into a world decimated and upheld by diversity—Christ!
A four count charge. I may rot in jail for this suit will be squiggled in the sky
for all to heed. And the jury won’t feel guile because the verdict will be evidence-based
(Jeez!). Oops, my village people are following me. They have carved a table for me in jail.

This jailer is waiting to throw me in. A five count charge: am I doomed?
I’m in vague state and my daughter, once a fetus, is asking if mummy is transgender
“shhh!” — I turn and the marshals cuff us. Paddle us to Rikers. My. Village. People. Followed.
Me. Into. My siesta. Father and daughter in Rikers. Lordy Lord. “Break every chain Lord like
You saved Paul and Silas & Dear daughter, don’t say TRANSGENDER.” A sleep speech. I wake
and scream, “don’t say TRANSGENDER” & the firmament heard me like the fig twig heard Jesus.

Officially, six count charge. I grab my iDevice: “OK GOOGLE, why did I say TRANSGENDER
in my nap? There a science-based reason?” — And a gynoid barks: “Our systems have detected
unusual traffic from your stream. We check to see if it’s really you sending the requests, and not
a robot.” A blue screen of death. And then, my door breaks like World War Three —”hands
where I can see them!”— “Double jeopardy!” My spouse and born fetus scream — I’m gobsmacked. No!


CDC director tells staff ‘There are no banned words,’ while not refuting report [STAT News]
Banned words at NIH and CDC? It’s deja vu again [Forbes]
Origin of Words [Poets Reading the News]

Success Akpojotor was born in Benin City, Nigeria, and writes poetry, prose, and theatre. His works have appeared or are forthcoming in Nigerian Observer, Heavy Feather Review, Tuck Magazine, Wax Poetry and Art, Mounting The Moon Anthology, among others. He holds a honors degree in History from the University of Benin.

Editorial art by Elle Aviv Newton.

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