In the land of 10,000 class presidents
there is way too much Tuesday night traffic,
too much gossip between the monuments,
and too many blossoms rimming the Potomac.
Smiles scar and stone misquotes our heroes.
Lovers father our twins without us. Resentments
are almost always faxed. And dashes declare peace
is not possible without treaties.
The Defense Department waters its rhododendrons
while jaundiced stars hang in tatters
in dark corners, so 8th graders can learn
Evil has a name and a number.
Jazz standards caravan around
the Kennedy Center in a failed circle. Liberty
lassos Happiness while History blames
all it's forgotten on ADD.
Please tell me my sinuses will survive the season,
that no more oaths will be uttered facing east,
that bullets can’t kill a dynasty
or murder a king’s dream.
Convince me Night will never shatter again like glass,
that all our spasms and complaints will come to an end,
that we’ll stop swilling our garlic with our gin,
and that gargoyles won’t rain down from the sky.
And persuade me once and for all
that it will be the newborns who will bless the souls
of the wicked as they file into Heaven
like beasts into the garden.