“Poem Written in Stolen Polling Place Pen” by James D’Agostino

James D’Agostino


Ever watch a sunset against a headstone
what kind civil war what kind well I’ll tell

but how many words between orange
and red had I better come up with? That

one’s second-degree jelly bean. That ain’t
fireflies it’s headlights I’ve got my back to

on the headstone I face. Hey, down here
if you got a belly button you got half

a chance but the sherbet sure burns hotter
the shallower it gets. Told you you’d need

more reds before bed. Col. Andrew Porter,
I should probably apologize for my tail

bone ass cheek imprint I left in your soft
dirt there. Beware. Though I could see

why you like the place. All that sky all day.
The heavens you called it. Comes down

to a little bit of blood at the end.

from Poets Respond
November 11, 2018


James D’Agostino: I had been talking with my friend Monica about the moment she realized Trump wasn’t going to be impeached. For her it was watching a square dance pour its form across our town’s Moose Lodge dance floor. For me it was when half my students (college juniors) told me they were too busy to vote. I cancelled class on election day to free a few up. Leaving the polling place I wandered out to our town cemetery and realized I’d pocketed the pen I voted with.” (web)

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