humLight

1.
The Bureau of Firefly Safety had instituted a catch-and-release program. They began promoting the use of eco-friendly mason jars, made of clay. We all used to go out to the jungle and catch fireflies in these big clay mason jars. Inside the jars, the fireflies would develop small societies, hierarchical mainly although a few rudimentary democracies as well. At first rain, the clay would melt, and the fireflies would carry their modern ideals to more savage orchards. Thus, the firefly population expanded in a way the Bureau approved as “mostly natural.”

2.
A blindfold comes off like a starter pistol and I am running through the jungle, kicking clay pots as I go, my legs are the space after an ellipsis, SMASH a pot shatters- clay shards- an assembly of fireflies SMASH blinding SMASH a million tiny voices cry out, I am carrying a glass thimble and lid, behind me the jungle goes galaxy out of control, clay dust cakes to my nostrils as I pull for breath, SMASH my legs demand this even as the jungle begins to run out, trees thinning, SMASH I leap into the air, swing from a vine very jaguar, there it is, the last firefly, I scoop her into the glass thimble, screw on the lid, press it into my wrist until the skin opens, press harder, sting and pulp SMASH veins out of the way and sew up the wound, blood gone, jungle gone, jars gone, wrist pulsing dimly, leading me home.

3.
We broke into
a Theatre so
I could read You
all my poems.
The Lights were off.
Between Us,
a pixieKnife,
smashembrace,
one wrist open,
firefly out
heartpulseLight.

4.
After the fireflies. You are a back pocket flashlight. I am a jungle a jaguar. We are in this big clay mason jar, rebuilding society. More savage orchards on the other side.

last desperate act of

I hurtle myself against the subway door because
the pressure of trying to get out of Williamsburg goddamnit
is too much for me and the whole train rattles and the water
comes bursting in and everyone is taking out their phones
because they want to take selfies about it and then maybe
they will finally be famous online and everyone will love them
or whatever and I’m finding the last blank page in a notebook,
past doodles of cats, past your address, past shit attempts at irony,
and I’m clicking my pen over and over as the water makes it
high enough that I have to hang from the handrails like one of those
subway performers and there is not even enough time to be surprised,
I write a letter to you, tie it to a fish using a torn out cowlick
and think “west” and I drown, the note reads

you make me want to
vomit. just so you
will take care of me

Reelection rally

Four more years of Schaffer
Four more years of Schaffer

I start the chant, hoping others will join in

Four more years of Schaffer
Four more years of Schaffer

I caste my eyes now from person to person, encouraging them to pick it up

“More budget transparency!” wails an old man, clenching a list of receipts and cover letters and my work history, while my landlord shakes his fist

A single pearl of sweat arcs down the nape of my neck as I clench my ass cheeks

Four more years of Schaffer
Four more years of Schaffer

I drown the old man out

A baby is passed in a basket down a stream of upturned hands, landing at my feet. Its eyes begin to water, and just as it lets out that first terrible shriek, a woman screams

“Kiss the baby!”

I shudder without meaning it. I lift the baby up and the thing stares at me. I try not to think it does so with malice but still my hands tremble, and before I can drop it I

toss

the baby back into the crowd and watch it float away

“Schaffer doesn’t care about the future!”
“He doesn’t know how!”

Four more years of Schaffer
Four more years of Schaffer

I begin pounding the podium in rhythm with myself. The baby might be crying, but I can’t hear it. I reach down to drink my water, but to do so would mean to stop chanting. My throat goes dry as a mess of high school girls begin to giggle and cut me open

“Look at the way he’s dressed.”
“He doesn’t even want this.”
“Hey mister, have you ever worn that suit before?”

I tug at my collar and tighten the knot of my tie. I take an earring out and secretly swallow it, and it hurts going down. More sweat begins to burst out of my forehead, back, armpits. My hands clench the podium and rattle it hard

Four more years of Schaffer
Four more years of Schaffer

My voice cracks for the first time but I keep going. A news team dressed as a SWAT team breaks through a window and begins to ask about my marital status. Before I can explain, they begin harassing me for attacking the American family unit. I fell them I have loved before and they try to call witnesses but no one will show.

Four more years of Schaffer
Four more years of Schaffer

A pit opens up in the ground and the entire US Congress is there. They have long lists of promises I’ve broken and immediately indite me on 5,000 counts of perjury. Each one bangs a gavel as a mastiff in a bailiff’s uniform pulls handcuffs out from under its tail. The audience can no longer hold back. Their screams fall down on me. One side questions and the other shouts answers in unison:

religious affiliations
UNSURE
his relationship with his parents
HE DOESNT CALL HOME
his sexual performance
MEDIOCRE

The podium rips off the stage and I realize it is because I am trembling so hard. My entire suit is drenched in sweat. The audience is jacklefaced

FOUR MORE YEARS OF SCHAFFER
FOUR MORE YEARS OF SCHAFFER

A woman in black firebombs the stage. I leap, and with surprising grace twirl in the air, ready now to land in the hungry arms of the audience and be devoured. I close my eyes and try to remember the Kaddish. But their hands are open. They catch me. They bring me safely to my feet. I hug those nearest me and begin working my way out, hugging everyone. I kiss the baby. I am told my wife is on her way, the car service was late. The woman in black, mysteriously, cannot be found. I open my mouth to thank them all but overpowering me they chant, not in unison but loudly,

Four more years of Schaffer
Four more years of Schaffer

I do not check the polls the next day.