The Speech
For Barack Obama

They’re usually so disappointing—
the words—so replaceable—meant

to muck up the works—or splatter
against the wall—leaving a general

dissatisfaction—But who wouldn’t
be pleased with your words?—Certainly

Walt Whitman would hail you—
Emily Dickinson would quietly approve—

and I’m sure Lincoln would understand—
the accident—(the unlikelihood)

of your arrival—as unlikely as his—
but having the same source

in the working engine of a single person’s
persistence—it should be said that—

None of us are deluded—when we hear
a mind make its way through the language—

it is as beautiful as this—to say out loud
what has never been said—to the whole

world as it listens—it makes me glad
for the logic of language—how the sound

makes sense—while the story—while
the story comes back—as we hoped to hear it.