Holiday in the New Regime
though you couldn't help but
be aware of its existence: living
in a region where everything
reminds you of David Lynch-
trucks filled to overflowing with
mossy logs, rumbling down the highway
in sideways rain, and people
who don't care much for conversation.
The roadside cafes on 101
always manage to close
a few seconds before you arrive, and
the waitress apologizes because she can
only offer breaded chicken strips and beer.
At a nearby tavern,
the word “amber” floors the bartender.
You are a snotty urbanite
from a city along the interstate,
and everybody knows it.
They do not speak to you.
Finally your vegetable patty arrives
on a cheap white bun, with a
pale curve of iceberg lettuce
and a leftover slice of tomato.
The tomato appears oddly festive
against the backdrop
of flickering holiday lights.
December is the slow month
at the ocean, and only lunatics
come here. That explains a lot.
Christmas is a week away,
and people are bombing the hell
out of each other on the news.
You'd be amazed if they chose
to do anything else, since
they don't know how to sit quietly.
Folks who live alone in the mountains
erect enormous Trump signs in their yards
to keep them company
during the damp and chilly winter.
Those who have the largest signs
live in the smallest houses,
crumbling shacks and trailers
in desperate need of new roofs and floors.
These people never come outside,
and they refuse to throw anything away:
their lawns are littered with old engine parts
and overturned lawn chairs,
as if they just sprang forward
and left town in a hurry, except
they are still there, watching television.
Part of you thinks everything should
just hurry up and go to hell,
since it was headed there
for such a long time anyway.
Everyone was having fun,
and didn't want to let a little thing
like a massacre spoil their party. Still,
you don't have to live in a trailer
at the bottom of a rain-drenched knoll,
you get to go home and drink
lattes and microbrews.
These folks are braver than you, because
they know how to remain in one place,
even if everything shuts down at 7 PM.
When the apocalypse comes
the Trump people will inherit the earth,
and you will die, clutching your screed
and your plate of gluten free food.
They will congregate on your grave, cackling
with merriment, as they smoke cigarettes
and devour bags of deep-fried chicken.
They will insist you had it coming all along:
and who's to say they won't be right?