Summer 2009 - THE POTOMAC

Two Poems
   Karen Lillis

Making Eye Contact With Automobiles

An SUV pointed his engine at my heart
His hands drumming the wheel
signaled his foot that was trigger-ready
to put the pedal to metal
It was true
that I was crossing him
at a pedestrian pace

As he crushed my vulnerable heel
in passing
he leaned out the window
to let me know without question that
"We went to Iraq for
my brand of democracy,
not yours, baby"
Then he disappeared in a cloud
of 12 miles to the gallon

A Supreme Court Justice
appointed by an illegal president
surprised me on a DC street corner
with a handgun to my head
"Give me all your clichéd
liberal thoughts, your pathetic imaginings
of humanity, years worth
of yearnings
for the collective; I want
the kind of safety
you've never
hoped for," he hissed
The gun went off
and his shots rang out in
New York,
San Fran,
and Los

One for the Gipper

Saying the world's
going to hell
in a handbasket's
like calling the kettle
black when really
the pot's as white
as a Romanov
who send his laundry
off to Holland and
bathes in champagne
while the peasants
from Manila to
do as the Romans
do: bend over
and take it
like a man
named Atlas
with the weight
of the globe
on his shoulders
or a continental
soldier named
G.I. Joe who
said a great fall
of the mosque
walls came
tumbling after
the bombs
the planes
the tanks
the shellfire
DUCK! And keep
your head down
keep your ears
low oh
keep your ears
low to the ground
my friend and
pray in spades
for the wind
of change

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