The Day After the Elections

by Jeff Oaks

Start with what you know. The elections are over.
The train that comes up the river every morning
blows its horns. The house that’s been filling up with heat
against November stops, adjusts, begins monitoring
again. We all listen hard, the house, the dog, and me.
An old vent changes shape somewhere down the hall
I’ll have to walk soon to shower, shave, brush, floss.
Just do one thing and then the next, I’ve kept saying.
Just this present and not the future too much. In this
I am following the dog’s example. At least right now. Listen.
The train horn gone. A slight surf of traffic blocks away.
It’s a day after politics, a moment after the decisions
have been made. In the ballrooms around the city,
there are still people leaving, tired, having done what
they could, while the sound of brooms and vacuums
replace them, erase them. Who knows what beds
they have waiting? At this moment in mine the dog
is already dreaming about the chilled grass he’ll pee into.
Just that far ahead. Like everyone who has to wait now.

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