Inauguration

 

There is no going back.

And we may never settle how we got here,

But disagreements do not change the fact.

There is no going back.

They lined up in November,

And, in secret, voted for a pig.

Some pigs are more equal than others, you remember?

When something breaks, you can’t undo the crack.

Let’s make our country great again, they squealed—

Forgetting the simplest fact:

There is no going back.

 

The tribal elders know this, and the young

Running from Cannonball to Omaha.

A mother of a three-week-old, who runs

Despite the searing pain she feels, she knows

That weeks are irreversible.

Just like an oil spill, time seeps, it flows.

The scientists, who rushed to hide their facts

On Canadian servers, as the clock ran out,

They know. That centuries, like minutes, flutter past

And if you miss your chance, it won’t come back.

 

The past is gone, it’s gone,

Except as counterfeit, or masquerade,

Like neo-Nazis, with their costumes on

And their guns, and their absurd parade

Intended to scare Jews in north Montana.

A Nazi’s phone rings, skewing the charade—

His ringtone is a Katy Perry song.

And here we are at the inauguration

Of an imposter. “O Captain, my Captain!” they call

And he struts on

Captain Morgan, Captain Crunch, Captain Ron.

 

 Proud liar, mad and naked, caked in greed—

A germaphobe, a cokehead, spoiled brat.

He has no better angels.

He leers out at the world he’s meant to lead—

The world we broke. From sea to tainted sea.

It might be time to turn off your TV.

But now the demon speaks. His cartoon speech

Like garbage washing up on every beach.

“If you’re a star, they let you do it. You can do anything.”

The Russians, Syrians, Mexicans, they hear,

As do the Chinese, Maori, and the Turks,

The French, the Germans, and the Congolese.

Now we cannot deny this was our choice.

Or some of us. Maybe some people can

Because a hundred black women in New York

Count less than one white Pennsylvania man.

But no, none of it matters. He still stands,

The Bible sweating underneath his hand.

A child in Flint Michigan, watching, wails,

And this whole inauguration was for sale.

But there is nothing we can say, or do

Except to hold on to the bitter truth

That time does not move backwards, never, so

The only way is Progress. On we go.