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Sunday, December 24, 2017


by Alejandro Escudé

Image from “Donald T***p at Mar-a-Lago” by Eric Harthen.

President Trump kicked off his holiday weekend at Mar-a-Lago Friday night at a dinner where he told friends, "You all just got a lot richer," referencing the sweeping tax overhaul he signed into law hours earlier.  —CBS News, December 23, 2017

There are many places like it in California,
named after high class dreams, places
that promise drinks and ease, places that
don’t exist until you arrive then proceed
to disappear once you do arrive and check into
those warmly lit lobbies, fireplace nearby,
a bar with mortgaged cocktails, European-faux,
and palm trees; in LA as in Florida, palms
are usually guilty as shit—the sun as well,
that red and blue sock puppet in the sky.
I see the allure of signing the tax overhaul
as one would a pricey restaurant bill, blurry
from that last martini, that last buttery morsel
of lobster, well done steak. I could imagine god
as a speedboat, razor-edged as a chef’s knife,
the tomes girding his legitimacy like life rings
on a yacht, his high priests hotel concierges
handing over the only key card to the truth.
We should never think of them as uncouth
or snobby or even criminal. They’re in a hurry
to get there, to get to Mar-a-Lago. They wish
they could have left an hour or two sooner,
but this law had to be signed, a diamond scrawl,
cameras flashing like the eyes of the Titans.

Alejandro Escudé published his first full-length collection of poems My Earthbound Eye in September 2013. He holds a master’s degree in creative writing from UC Davis and teaches high school English. Originally from Argentina, Alejandro lives in Los Angeles with his wife and two children.