One by one, he took us behind closed doors.
He reclined under a map pierced with flags
of all the countries he’d sold weapons to.
He proceeded to unzip his pants and
I jumped up, but the door was locked.
I did say No and pushed back
but the CEO on the upper bunk
said he never heard it. I told the attorney
but he said I should never have agreed
to an interview behind closed doors.
The judge shrugged and said the proper channels
had been flooded and if I drowned,
it proved I never learned the right
strokes. So, I got the boot and not just
from the President. I had bled. My blood
was a pre-existing condition, according to Congress.
Uninsured, unemployed, deployed, declined,
I was evicted, I bled out. No one seemed to see
the blood falling in torrents over the White
House, over the white face of the President
as he said, Wipe that blood out of your forever
and ever. What he said leaked
to the media and the nation absorbed
it for a moment, then went dry and looked
for something else to drink.
SUZANNE WISE is the author of the poetry collection The Kingdom of the Subjunctive (Alice James), and the chapbooks The Blur Model (Belladonna) and Talking Cure (Red Glass Books). Her poems are also published or forthcoming in American Letters and Commentary, The Awl, Bomb, Bone Bouquet, Cura, Green Mountains Review, Guernica, Ploughshares, Quaint, and Touch the Donkey.