she opens the door as if emerging from sleep she tried to vote early but her ride never showed my eyes drift to her hand resting on a pregnant belly behind her I see her husband laying on the floor with their little son a new citizen this is her first election only voter in the house we call a union member Local 11 someone to open the door extend a hand to her when she steps out of the car someone to walk with her to the polling center and drive her home we wait together on the steps her son plays with my shield and widens his ludic orbit he jumps bounces springs and then her chariot pulls up a young man smiles and takes her to vote
I find him, tall and lanky, unloading a truck with his Dad who looks at me sideways I am hoping to talk to — He's on our books as a Democrat. But the father is not. To talk to the teenage voter I have to get around this man I make myself small Just following up to make sure— the son comes closer I give him the rap turns out he's already dropped his ballot off Oh that's great! I run down our list of candidates and ask: Can we count on your support? No. I can see his Dad's eyes on him he can feel them on his back. I can't tell— is he proud or ashamed?
The Libertarian asks what I think of Kamela and what she said about Biden in the debate I do not believe you are a racist, she said before taking him apart for cozying up with segregationists I say I am behind the criticism of his policies— how can I support Biden, he interjects, if he's a racist? I've been down this road before with the guy energized by the discovery that people on the left vote for racists as if that makes me and him the same there are moments in history, she said when states fail to preserve the civil rights of all people I forget to pivot to the story of the racism we share I return to local candidates running on conviction and compassion but he prefers to crow over my hypocrisy for a few minutes, sitting with him on his porch, I am lost he has an energy a low menace, its own thrill I take him in, bearded motorcycle lover with a good belly living in a comfortable suburban home in an all-but-gated community an answer to a question that was lingering in my head Kamela and that little girl was me.
I don't know these people, and they don't know us. I've never seen them around here, don't know what they are about. Maybe I should run. I want to do things! but campaigning is a waste of time.
Puritans thought they were God's chosen. But they weren't completely sure. To think you know God's mind is sinful, you see — so, really, the Puritans were elected by God to sit with the possibility that they were not chosen.
I don't know about politics. Are we Democrats? Yes! says her brother, from inside the house, loud. He can't vote, she explains, with his felony convictions. This is the best yard, I say. The parking lot in front of her building licks the desert foothills. It will be so beautiful in the winter. Today it is hot and brown. Her sons play around us. A football arcs over her head. I don't know what a Democrat is, she says. Whoever is on the side of poor people has my vote! I say the choice is clear, and it is. But no one running for anything in this race looks like her — they do not have her smile, her shape or her style. Silky curls, thick energy. She's wearing a deep yellow t-shirt with black letters: QUEEN.
weatherbeaten house perched on a mound of rock and dirt curtains pulled tight against the sun Chrysler gathering dust shirtless with a belly full of rage he moves his body into the light gives me an earful about taxes he's never earned enough to pay
she is the one I am looking for but he opens the door I see her behind him a long arm’s length a smile on her lips I ask the question and it’s a trigger he hates them all dems and libs riots in Seattle child molesters hunter biden china china china molotov cocktail she slips into shadow before I learn which way she leans
I'm sick don't have time for these calls I'm afraid of civil war I hate them both because she's a woman and black am I a racist? I would vote green if I could but I can't every time you don't hang up it's a surprise
reach down a lung bottom out at an inch knife and pin wet concrete does my voice sound thin? Regeneron! blessing from god not since Abraham Lincoln has anyone done what I have done with all of you and your prayers