Inauguration Day: January 21st, 2009

Inauguration Day: January 21st, 2009

One day you will see yourself as you saw yourself then,

Back when your addiction felt like the cure,

One-hundred and fifteen pounds

Of unfed bones and fake baked skin,

Six months before your hospital stay,

The sole heir to a genetic mutation that appeared

On your thirtieth birthday like a Halloween monster

To take you under, transform you to surface beautiful,

Letting the good inside go ugly deep.

One day you will see yourself as you saw yourself then,

Saturated by transient men and janitors, intercom calling

Sisters, suitcases stacked by chairs, coffee spilling at the brim,

A mundane sun slipping its tongue into a sliver of window,

There you sit, a blonde by the bar on the way to a city

Where it snows in a state the President reigned

When he wasn’t President, when he was a candidate

On a ballot that you checked but your lover didn’t,

But your husband did and your children couldn’t.

We appoint our kings on Eastern Time, in mornings,

Central timers suck caffeine, eyes glued to the TV,

Waking as the newly knighted is sworn in,

And the red travelers stop and swear at him, fists enraged,

Stopping the passing on the way to planes,

And clapping donkeys reflect in the ice-clinking glass,

A bit of contrast, you rotate to the right and the faces pinch,

To the left again and there's hope, but the monster laughs:

"It will take more than hope to save you."

One day you will see yourself as you saw yourself then,

Ice melting faster than your luggage can pack,

The corpse of your marriage heavy around your neck,

And the pound of a phone in your purse

That made remembering history a chore--

Made everything a chore, even loving your children.

Its loud, insufferable silence a war, and warring it stayed,

Bloodthirsty even when the bones were fed,

Then rotted away for years until you finally buried it.

—Erin Passsons, 1-2015
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