Tuesday, October 27, 2020


early voting during the plague

she has the face of denial

tells me the signature that i wrote
thirteen years ago

doesn’t match the one
she has me do now on a stylus

i tell her it’s me
but she makes me do it again

we get the same result
a shaky blur of digital ink and slashes

i say,
look, lady, i can’t write on a stylus

which is true

i’ve slaughtered my signature
on everything from car rentals to UPS deliveries

i tell her that’s my signature
take it or leave it

she looks ready to leave it

early voting during the plague
in the cafeteria of a high school gym

sweaty high school walls
broken high school tiles

but no high school students in class
due to all of the death and disease

the polling lady goes to make me
write my name again, but i shake my head

give me my ballot, i tell her

she frowns
throws up her hands
but does what i ask

although i can’t help thinking
the situation would be much different
if i had an accent or if i were black

i take my ballot
and stand in another line
full of the masked and frightened

wait my turn
to cast out one set of monsters
for a brand-new horror show

one that we can all hopefully live through

as a girl walks by me
wearing a this is what democracy looks like

and i think maybe

but really

i don’t know, man
i don’t know.

--John Grochalski                                     

No comments: