The perfect voter has a smile but no eyes, maybe not even a nose or hair on his or her toes, maybe not even a single sperm cell, ovum, little paramecium. Politics is a slug copulating in a Poughkeepsie garden. Politics is a grain of rice stuck in the mouth of a king. I voted for a clump of cells, anything to
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The barista at the coffee shop is covered in tattoos. She says there are only two ways they hold her back. 1. She can’t work at Starbucks. 2. She can’t wear a corsage, since she’d just be way too busy, and this makes me laugh. She says no to gifts from prom dates—the wrist corsage, the pinned corsage; no to bridal bouquets, the get-well-soon carnations. One day soon her mother will insist on sympathy wreaths around her coffin, which is closed, lest she be confused with the flowers.
Copyright © 2013 by Denise Duhamel. Used with permission of the author. This poem appeared in Poem-A-DayWordmark Speed Nike NFL Shirt Men's Cardinals T 5wAwUO on June 24, 2013. Browse the Poem-A-Day archive.