Dear Patroclus: A Poem

On November 8, 2016, Donald J. Trump was elected the 45th President of the United States of America.


The night of the election, you gave me
your arms. How strange it was—the first time
you’d ever seen me cry, and I was trying my best not to ask
for help. But your arms still came. I wanted to hold you, too,
to return the bolstered hope, but my fingers were busy
clutching my cheeks like a shield. A shield,
and you gave me your armor. Preparations for battle, for
our safety. Brazen gold, gleaming swords, iron holsters.
Was it a spear that I received from you that night? A rifle, loaded
with every safety you had to offer? Your cheek
was next to mine; I felt your hair
at my temple, like we were praying together. Eyes
closed, lips parted. This would get us through, I knew—these arms,
the arms of everyone. We all convened in convalescence.
Arms and legs fighting our way upwards. No one was alone
in pushing the boulder. We were sweating,
but we couldn’t spare our fingers to wipe our skin.
All of us, everyone who cared, on the night
of the election, heaving upwards, sweating tears
refusing to bleed in the face of it all, busy making sure
the boulder would never roll back down. I was on the couch
beside the TV, refusing to turn my head
to see the fateful screen. And you,
you stood up just to put your arms around me, radiating
safety. Two souls thrumming together— 
strength no theory
can explain. The archaic drum, the flutes, the marching millions
of sandaled feet pounding behind our eyelids, between
our hearts, in and out of pink lips. I felt you
in my veins that night, when you gave me
your arms. We became amor. Only our enemies were afraid.


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