from the new issue of Verse (Volume 26, Numbers 1-3)
(A Poem For Laura Bush)
Privatization is me talking to you
about nobody listening in, about riding
at one end of a long car and you at the other,
about tinted windows and messages off a security phone.
I wear a pink-dyed sable, made up as a 60s lady
and a bug-proof hat that you look a long time at.
This is an act of being secret at the expense
of others, also closed from each other as
we won’t admit everything. Oh darling,
perhaps our contract is too secluded
and we should be released into cornfields. I try
to imagine Buck Rogers in a bunny suit.
But you sit tall and handsome ready to blast off.
As you streak toward the future, I drift into the past.
Oh Buck Rodgers you are reading poetry
by someone from the future I can’t compete with,
me studying Herodotus trying to avoid slip ups.
What goes on under our clothes
keeps the world away, that’s for sure, but
your private thoughts, my private wishes
are running askew lost on a crooked city avenue.
may make us rich, like history, but secrecy
folds us up into maps hiding the direction children play in.
Bankruptcy could flatten the tires on our limousine.
Is it time to be apart like radiator ornaments
whose engines have vanished beneath their hearts?
Lift me off this hanger, I’m yesterday’s coat.
They say hangups talk. But I’m telling you they don’t.