The post-conference party’s second wave had arrived and soon
I notice familiar sly hand gestures, so tag on to the end
Of the exodus from the Christmas light lit living room to
The dilapidated upstate New York porch packed with old couches.
My mouth is soon on the blunt after a friendly inquiry
And we get to talking about the sessions we’d seen,
And what it will mean for the Social Justice Movement in America
To have a Black President as The Man in power for the first time ever.
The mixed race political theorist that the other students
Call Heideggerian-Anarchist behind his back, or so my friend
Tells me, performs a longwinded paean to Possibilities
That I, a historian, counter with a less sanguine assessment.
Having been pulled under the wing of someone that’s
Made a career of saying such things in glossy magazines
He counters my empiricism with arrogant idealism –
I almost respond with blows, but think “decorum”, hit it again then go.
I float past those spastically dancing to the irregular beats
And lyrics with love-lost themes on the uneven living room
Back to the seat that I had just occupied only to find that
It’s now been taken by the event’s keynote speaker.
His scarf brushes again and again against the band
On his ring finger as he gesticulates high to low
In and out to emphasize whatever he’s explaining
To the manic pixie dream girl sitting next to him.
There’s a red string braided into her unkempt bleached
Orange hair, she wears a chain necklace with boho baubles,
Has a glass of five-dollar-a-bottle champagne in her hand
And a neighbor looking up at me with a fuck off stare.
I lie through my teeth and give compliment to his speech
That claimed an understanding of Ancient Greek Tragedy
Should inform how we frame resistance to contemporary policies
And that seizing the state is no way to stop neoliberalism.
Given this gem of status in front of his hopeful conquest
He repeats in his West Herts accent the same jest he opened with
About how glad he was that while the TSA did cause delay,
X-rays can’t yet reveal worldviews and so he was able to make it.
Turning to assess her reception he smiles seeing her do the same,
Unaware that she came from VT to see me and is mine, for now;
His face again frowns as I bend down and say just loud enough for
The three of us: I’ve grown tired of this, let’s go back to the hotel
Let’s forget all the things we think we know and just go
At each other like the animals we are for as long as
Our bodies will last and she says: Yes, let’s.
And this is why I love her, in my own way.