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Sunday, February 05, 2017


by Jack Powers 

Washington was a sea of pink pussy hats Saturday
         and New York and Stamford and Chicago and LA
while Anne and I sat at home, realizing we missed out,
         thinking if we all march on Day 2, what's left for Day 100?

I emptied the dishwasher, let the dog lick the plates,
         read the signs on TV: We shall overcomb,
Ovaries before Brovaries, Electile Dysfunction.

I re-tied my blue and orange Asics, perfect marching shoes,
         bought in a mall in California when one of my old sneakers
fell out of our rental car. I'm obsessed with avocados.
         But low blood sugar is costing more rain forests.

I called Will on his first day at NYU, my brain a half step
         behind my mouth. You keep contradicting yourself, he said
when I told him to eat well and then to find cheaper food.

I sounded just like my father. Some days I can't get both feet
         out of my mouth. Last year I wrote about wanting to be black
when I was young, about fro-ing my hair and reading Soul on Ice.
         about dressing up for Mardi Gras as a black jazz musician,

playing "When the Saints Go Marching In" on a kid's plastic trumpet.
         Zak shook his head, said something about appropriation.
True. True. But I nailed that Louis Armstrong rasp,
singing, Lord, I want to be in that number, Oh, when the saints!
         squeezing the red and green plastic valves, mopping my brow
with a white handkerchief. He was so damn cool. I am not.
         Zak asked me to hide the picture when his girlfriend visits.

 In a dream last night, I proposed to Anne by spreading
         peanut butter on her hand and licking it off.
To make matters worse, I told her about it in the morning.

The Times' top left column seems dedicated to T***p's lie of the day:
         crowd size, illegal voters. By Day 100 will everyone want a do over?
For dinner I may eat crow again with just a sliver of avocado,
         keep my sneakers tied—ready next time to shut up and march.

Jack Powers teaches special education. English and math at Joel Barlow High School in Redding, Connecticut, and directs the school’s Writing Center. He won the 2015 and 2012 Connecticut River Review Poetry Contests and was a finalist for the 2013 and 2014 Rattle Poetry Prizes. His poems have appeared in The Southern Review, The Southern Poetry Review, Barrow Street, Poet Lore, Cortland Review and elsewhere.