My Pretty Roosevelt

Be my Roosevelt,
My four-term President
With a new deal underneath your bright skirt,
Legs shining like US steel,

Someone whom “dapper” still fits,
Cigarette perched in
Its mother-of-pearl holder,
Clamped tight
In your glittering teeth,

And it’s okay
If your other lover
Sleeps with another lover
In your fine white house,

And it’s okay
If while kissing babies for cameras
Atom bombs fall through your head,

And if we sit knee-to-knee
With drunken ministers
And mustachioed murderers,
Plot to make Evil
Blow his foolish brains out,

The bits falling like ticker tape
On the cheering crowds
As the sailor bends the woman back
And drinks deep
And I turn to you,

Will you still be waiting
With that campaign smile,
My pretty Roosevelt?

(First published in Alternate Route #10, Summer 2023. Thanks to editor Michael Starr.)

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