A Poem By Lucie Brock-Broido

by Mark Bibbins, Editor

Jack & Squat

Good morning heartache Mr. President, the more your people

Turned on you the more I loved you more.

I would fret about the lanky form that carries your ideas by day,
Your lofted promises by night,

The oblong shape of thoughts that take place in your head.

Op Ed: the sleekest Borzoi with the longest legs
Is sprawled out across the red-shaped couch.

Very few angels in the corridor just
Now. You wanted to want more

Than a Dickens child yearning to be fed in wider bowls.

You appeared in the aching city, but just didn’t stay there
Long enough.

In the flooded city, a schoolboy asked:
Why so many people hate you now?

Even north, the midwives and the orderlies and blue-collared firemen

Had turned on you. At mid-term, on the radio, your people said you did

Two things. That would be: Jack and Squat.

Op Ed: I would have liked to strangle them.
Op Ed: (I wish what I wished them before, but harder.)

Lucie Brock-Broido’s books of poems are A Hunger, The Master Letters, and Trouble in Mind. She is the director of poetry in the Writing Division in the School of the Arts at Columbia University.

If you’re looking for more poems to read, oh boy, it is just like Christmas up in The Poetry Section’s archives. You may contact the editor at poems@theawl.com.