“I Am Over Here Sobbing” by Amy Miller

Amy Miller


Under an infinite dome of expanding
night, the crickets recording
a high of one hundred, Hillary Clinton
is winning California and standing
with her daughter and wearing,
near as I can tell, a flak jacket
under that awkward coat and I’m
thinking, Bill with his hand in hers,
we don’t even know what
to call him, a president’s husband,
we don’t have the language
for it yet, and already I’m thinking
of who would troll me on Facebook
if I said that, of who would fire off
a foot-long rant—Monsanto
and shrill and bought and hawk—
and who would make a blowjob joke
out of that term we have yet to invent—
first husband? first man?—all clichés
taken already—and the all-caps
of the world are shouting
again in my head, even
my mother who said if you want
horses, marry a man with horses,
and I am over here sobbing
at the history writing itself
and for once I am singing
the national anthem, that part
at the baseball game where I normally
lower my eyes in silence, my hand
nowhere near my heart, as I try
not to think of bursting or rockets
or bombs but instead rest my eyes
on the grass with its millions
of green blades patiently growing.

Poets Respond
June 12, 2016

[download audio]


Amy Miller: “On the night Hillary Clinton won Super Tuesday, I was watching her victory speech on CNN, choked up with pride and astonishment that we in the U.S. finally elected a female major-party nominee for president. The import of it, the implications, blindsided me in a strange way—I found myself obsessing over minutiae, like what we would call Bill Clinton if Hillary becomes president. I was struck by the idea that we are literally writing history. In my enthusiasm, I started typing up a Facebook quip about it, but debated and debated whether to post it, knowing that some of my other-leaning friends might attack me online, as I’ve seen happen so often lately. I decided not to post it. I felt like a coward, and a little like I was living in a police state. But I also felt like I was practicing an ancient form of self-preservation.” (website)

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