I don’t like writing poems about politics.
(But I do write them.) They don’t “sing”
to me or lift me up. Not that verse has
to be cheerful or happy or optimistic or
really anything other than what it is.
Poetry at its best (for me) is about the
connections a poem creates from the personal
to our shared humanity and the world.
I rarely feel despair even when I read
something profoundly sad. Too often
when it comes to politics, I feel separation.
And I don’t want that, especially not now…
because I’m in love.
When I say I’m in love, I mean IN LOVE!
In the giddy, tingly, making-your-kids-cringe
super-sappy way no 50-year-old divorced man
should have any right feeling. But here we are.
I have an old t-shirt, a personified “Mr. Happy”
stepping across the front. I used to wear it ironically
but now I put it on for breakfast with my kids:
“Hey, have I told you about my girlfriend…?”
“We don’t care.”
“Let me tell you ‘bout my gurlllfrieennddd…”
“Shut up, Dad!”
So my very (very) serious conundrum is this:
how do I rage at the dying of the political light,
against the running of the blood-dimmed tides
and the gyring sins of the Age of Trump when
(again) I. Am. In. Love?
I sit here conflicted. But I know I do want sanity
over whatever the heck it is we have going on now.
I can and will strap on my adult armor during the day
and go out to do battle with the dragons of our time.
But at night I will strip naked and lay down with my love
in front of the fire and we will make love and I will look
into her eyes and show her just how much I love her.
Because in that moment when she answers my desire
with her desire we create a singularity of being and becoming
greater than anything even the Aleph could ever imagine.
So, my friends, is that enough? I don’t know, but I think so.
Mr. Happy gives a thumbs up when I smile bemusedly
at my kids at breakfast. They roll their eyes and gather
their things and go on about their day.
— Matthew S. Spira © 2020