Weekly poem on Trump Presidency
News After 7
I can’t do News after 7pm anymore.
The broadband gets into my bloodstream.
I find myself pacing the kitchen with a spatula scraping alternative facts off the casseroles.
I talk to myself more than most people, I think.
I have long car rides.
Sometimes I rehearse dialogues solo. Deliver lines. Feel the camera on my cheeks.
Sometimes I imagine myself door-to-door in Tennessee,
in some over-alled farmer’s living room diagramming gender fluidity with a pitchfork
and a ripe gourd.
[The farmer puts a mallet-hand on my shoulder:
No one’s ever put it that way to me before, Josh. I see now. Thank you.]
In those thousand commutes, I never imagined myself as President.
Delivering speeches. Detailing policies.
I do now.
Perhaps that’s a silver lining: Anybody can be president.
Literally, fucking, anybody.
[Ladies and gentlemen—scratch
[Ladies and gentlemen and everyone of all genders—scratch
[My fellow Americans. I am your long-term candidate. A man—scratch—
a person of long-term solutions.
Forget immediate reactions. Forget short-term power plays. Fuck tweets.
Every decision I make will be for our grandchildren – not for us.
And we’ll be okay, you and I. We will.
How do I know?
Listen: I took a shit in a stall next to my mother-in-law last weekend at a movie theatre.
Did I blush?
Hell yes I blushed.
But you know what: we dried our hands together and she held the door for me
and we laughed about it until we pissed ourselves and had to go back into the gender neutral bathroom
and dry our pants together – two pant-less ducks
laughing and crying and drying each other.
And it was beautiful.
Because in our grandchildren’s America, policy is love.]
Josh Rilla teaches English and Creative Writing at Beaver Country Day School in Chestnut Hill, MA. He is a graduate of Amherst College and Bread Loaf School of English. He has published material in Renaissance Magazine.