10.18.2019
Weekly poem on Trump Presidency

 

LEE PATTERSON

a lesson about this week & last week & every week

I don’t know what I’d get rid of first,
the guns or the bullets or the hands
holding the guns holding the bullets. 
& what about sharp objects, although 
I’d need a machete to get rid 
of the hands holding the guns holding
the bullets. I’m sorry,
I never know when children are present. 
autocorrect originally changed present
to lessons & I think that works too—children’s
history lessons, children’s swimming
lessons, children’s memory lessons—
any lesson, as long as it doesn’t end
in them bleeding
in hallways or bleeding
in grass or bleeding
anywhere
except when they fall off their bikes
& scrape their knees
& cry crocodiles. 
I’m still thinking about the machete,
how I could whittle us down to nubs,
leaving nothing but the middle.
who needs an origin story
or a denouement—just give
me the middle of a love story,
a living story, a just getting-by-shopping-
at-the-mall-kissing-next-to-a-fountain-
going-to-school-watching-
a-movie-dancing-at-a-club-story. 
today is the day after the second one this week,
& I don’t know why we aren’t all nubs yet.
still, I kiss my wife on the temples,
tell her I will always miss her,
I’m just going out for milk,
I thought she should know, just going
out for some cigarettes I should quit,
& we need more toothpaste
so I’ll get some of that, too.
by the bulk, she reminds
me, it’s cheaper.
& so I grab my keys & go,
but every time I leave the house
I keep
wondering & wondering
& wondering,
is this where the middle ends
or has a case of toothpaste
& a pack of menthols always
been my denouement?

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Lee Patterson's poetry has appeared or is forthcoming in Hobart, Thin Air Magazine, San Pedro River Review, and Queen Mob's Teahouse, among others. His chapbook, I get sad, is forthcoming from Ethel Zine in late 2019.

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