Monday, December 12, 2011

Campaign Song of the Parasite

I was lying on the couch listening to acoustic music when it became clear that I had an invasive parasite in my intestines. How I knew this is no subject for a poem (though it makes a good PBS documentary). I wanted to blame someone. Preferably one of the Republican candidates for president. But I couldn’t make the charge stick. Each had a prepared statement. A byte of sound. They made the rounds of the Sunday talk shows. Their denials were believable. Even to a man suffering from a gut ache. Democrats worked to heal me but their solutions were tangled. I couldn’t follow. Arguments ensued between Republicans and Democrats. Then a slim hand reached out of the radio speaker. A woman’s hand. It touched my cheek. Traced the curve of my ear. She whispered, listen. Republicans bowed their heads to pray. Democrats stood barefoot and still in the grass. She sang of tracks being erased, wood smoke, a snake, and disappearing. It was beautiful. But, truth to tell, it did nothing for my digestion. Soon enough, I excused myself to use the bathroom. In grand compromise, both parties looked askance at me as I shuffled quickly from the room hoping for relief.