Today's poem is by Tim Lockridge

Governing Bodies

There's a rash of harlequin romance written
by politicians and this bodes badly
for the book. Maybe we're missing
connections between incumbency and the torn

bodice. The campaign trail more like a long
walk at sunset. My Washington journalist
friend wishes she wrote novels. We were once
tossed from a mall for sharing a flask

on the merry-go-round and she said
"You should write a poem about this,"
but the next day I thought of the fractures
in clouds and she was on NPR saying

something about laws passing. We need
more impeachment, more people thrown
to the streets by bouncers. Accountability
might mean more if enforced by former

professional wrestlers—but they too turn
into governors and join the fray. Some days
I'm capable of constituency, but feel thin
at the edges on others. No secrets here:

I bring my skeletons outside and let the sun
wash their bones white. Still, the press could print
stories about the night I challenged my professor
to a duel and he tackled me and we fell

into the table—all those empty shot glasses
breaking and the bartender telling us
to never come back. The professor brushed
glass bits from his tweed jacket and said Isn't that

a motherfucker? Or maybe I said that,
and maybe I swear too much. It's a problem
I've had since middle school, where I ran
for class president and captured five votes.

All these effects lacking cause. I've since
skipped the electoral step and moved
straight to the page. My friend
in Washington thinks this is wise.

"Only the novel can speak to the human
condition," she says. Now I sleep
between bookshelves and try to feel more.

Copyright © 2008 Tim Lockridge All rights reserved
from Cimarron Review
Reprinted by Verse Daily® with permission

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