Richard Pearse

                                         Waking After the Election

Waking to these states our future in cold dark sky. Up
off the operating table. Smells of ice. The thugs
and their commentators have been waiting. Eager!
Having blamed our glass all these years,
they've gone behind their own glass, to watch how
our surgery went.

Waking to this new room, all the coat-pegs empty, a
new peg sprouting every few feet, coast to coast.
Between the pegs small flames keep starting up.

Waking to our new job to pay the medical bills: we keep busy
counting the flames, report how frequently
the victims, transparent now, turn
to ash and pile up.

Waking to these states waking to these states hearing
our new president’s speech:
our operation was a success.

   After the Election

One by one old friends blink and walk away down the snowy passes,
even after you've shaken them, crying "I voted your way!"

--how you know the future is dying.
Other signs:
Your grocery bags are filling with children's drawings of burning cities.
During the news your TV oozes a thin white hair from the Himalayas.

With the late shudder of the rulers’ photo ops
you remember that all their policy is foreign.
You remember our dear old negotiations
with the sea lions with blue with Buster Keaton.

And when you look in the bathtub the mutants are already born:
stunted green horses waving
their broken legs waving
you into the hole
where their heads would have been