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Monday, November 07, 2016


by William Aarnes

Image source: The Never-Ending Nightmare That is This Election by Tom Tomorrow

“nasty, brutish, and short” —Hobbes

You tell me to stop
being so pessimistic

so I’m going to start the morning
by ignoring the news

and focus on something random
like cutting my toenails

in hopes that early in the day
someone will see my toes

sticking out of my sandals
and admire my feet,

such lovely, lovely feet,
a compliment so charming

I might stop worrying
about how, despite years

of seeming stability,
it’s conceivable, that—boom!—

by the end of the week
the country’s domestic tranquility

will have collapsed into clashes
in the streets, at times the fighting

among swiftly mustered militias
so intense that the corners

of houses fall in rubble,
nobody bothering to care

who’s caught in the crossfire,
most of us come to grief,
and I’ll be cowering
(with my lovely toes)

in the plaster-dusted tub
without much hope

of your trying to cheer me up
till—pray we’re among the living—

some well-armed force
imposes peace.

William Aarnes lives in South Carolina.  His latest collection is Do in Dour (Aldrich Press).