Weekly poem on Trump Presidency
Slow Crawl from here to the Border
The President steps onto the portico of this gerryrigged year and squints into the retina sear
of the moon-stained sun, feigning a thermoset polymer of high molecular weight
molded into the shape of an idol of late hopped out of the reliquary and, Pinocchiolike,
come alive, the hate of the nascent millenium Geppettoing him into form, while a swarm
of ones and zeroes mistaken for birdsong and the buzzing of bees brings the congregation
to their knees, thinking him godlike before the eclipse; it’s lie number 2,017,
though his blindness is genealogical. Well-awares on the fritz, the crowd wolfs him down
like he’s Kibbles & Bits, paws up and begging in our dark paper spectacles,
some of us dying from making a living, some of us wearing manacles.
It’s a long, slow crawl from here to the border in a pair of holey pants
on the trail of fears yanked out from beneath the desert’s manic plants,
where law and order dons its posh plummage and parrots the shoot-’em-up messaging in the wall:
I am the eye in the sky, looking at you, I can read your mind.
Cortez earned his bread and butter by turning the Aztecs to toast,
but we’re in the infrared epoch now, the Rio Grande’s heated coast, a sacred cow
its noggin smoked by radar like it’s one big barbacoa. From Yuma, Arizona to Texas’ Eagle Pass,
Homeland Security putt-a-putt-putts around on its ATV ass while a cheap dumpling angel
with a belly of gas, jiggles like a cartoon float in the Macy’s Day Parade, farting coordinates
over the radio to save America from a bushel of crop that’s legal in Colorado,
the Chihuahuan Desert a mongrel panting in the continent’s lap,
its hide bumpy with microchips, scratching and worrying its surgical scab
as a kestrel perches on the ripple-chip rust between La Patria es Primero and In God We Trust,
knowing a vole on either side tastes pretty much the same.
I can read your mind. I can read your mind
Betsy Andrews is the author of The Bottom, winner of the 42 Miles Press Prize in Poetry in 2014, and New Jersey, winner of the Brittingham Prize in Poetry in 2007. Her poems and essays appear widely, including most recently in Fierce: Essays by and About Dauntless Women (Nauset Press, 2018) and Matter. She is the curator of the WRECKstasy Reading Series.