Exquisite Candidate

Denise Duhamel published this poem in 1997,  but somehow it seems fitting for me to post it this year:

Exquisite Candidate

I can promise you this: food in the White House

will change! No more granola, only fried eggs

flipped the way we like them. And ham ham ham!

Americans need ham! Nothing airy like debate for me!

Pigs will become the new symbol of glee,

displacing smiley faces and “Have A Nice Day.”

Car bumpers are my billboards, billboards my movie screens.

Nothing I can say can be used against me.

My life flashes in front of my face daily.

Here’s a snapshot of me as a baby. Then

marrying. My kids drink all their milk which helps the dairy

A vote for me is not only a pat on the back for America!

A vote for me, my fellow Americans, is a vote for everyone like me!

If I were the type who made promises

I’d probably begin by saying: America,

relax! Buy big cars and tease your hair

as high as the Empire State Building.

Inch by inch, we’re buying the world’s sorrow.

Yeah, the world’s sorrow, that’s it!

The other side will have a lot to say about pork

but don’t believe it! Their graphs are sloppy coloring books.

We’re just fine—look at the way

everyone wants to speak English and live here!

Whatever you think of borders,

I am the only candidate to canoe over Niagara Falls

and live to photograph the Canadian side.

I’m the only Julliard graduate—

I will exhale beauty all across this great land

of pork rinds and gas stations and scientists working for cures,

of satellite dishes over Sparky’s Bar & Grill, the ease

of breakfast in the mornings, quiet peace of sleep at night.





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