Political Dream


Why do I always dream myself leaving

without you, strafing over some combination

of past and future, driving over a map, usually

a college town, say Madison, with a California

barber shop where female barbers sing while

they cut hair?  Or I’m sitting in a room

with four or five, figuring finances so I can

pay for a place to sleep.  Or back

in the car cruising Madison naked in the passenger

seat.  Or in a room again.  I ask President

Clinton to get me a coffee.  I go down to the

ballroom.  I must’ve taken a gearless elevator

because I’m there in seconds getting the coffee

myself, trying to explain it’s for the President

when the alarm goes off — you wake

and I hear terrible music for a few seconds

until you click it off and Yorick the dog clicks in

on all fours.  I can hear him on our wood

floor as he lies back down and sighs and waits

for our companionship.  I lie there obsessively

going over why I must want to be alone and what

significance my friendship might be

with an ex-President who is always alone, traveling

the country, raising money for Democrats

and for Hillary’s nomination, I hope.

Someone puts a cup of coffee in her hand.

It’s one who wants to be there always in a country

amid too many fears.  Now he’s naked

writing a naked poem forever unread, unheeded.

Why does he stare and stare at it

and get up now in his underwear and ask

to read the poem to his wife who waters

the grass?  He taps on the front door glass.

She doesn’t hear or seems to ignore him.

She looks sexy the way she gazes

off to where water lands — he taps

again, this time more urgent like a knock

asking to be let into where the sky is

wide and he can’t stay separate so long.

I stare and stare out of full glass,

and you walk away with your hair falling

down intent on your task.  I know

you will be back.  We will make love then.

We will live in a country of underpromise

and overperform where the president is so

young he begs us not to be so certain,

not to go all in when the out of doors

cold calls with the weight of a nation –

Obama – the name sounds like my old mantra

in two-fingered days of peace and flowers

when bluebonnets went everywhere marching.