I lived in the Shanty with him for almost a year-
with his smile
and straight-backed walk that most presidents never even perfect.
How that room became a community
and red silk ties
and the curve of my thighs.
How day had so many hours
but together we had only one
and the love letters that I doodled
making sure that I always rhymed
in the margins of my lined paper.
and the drip of water falling from the ceiling,
oh how it filled the ceramic bowls
fire stained with the ruby red of my eye shadow.
I remember how he practiced his speech for hours
wearing lines into the carpet
and older then both of us combined.
I froze in my sundress
neat and refined
during the windstorm
and a kiss on the cheek for my troubles.
How advanced was my textbook of American Government and my C average, mingled with four a.m. trips to Starbucks, wearing his black sweaters (always to big for me) and how I read romance novels by the pound
I straighten his tie
against the shade of blue
in his eyes
and how I tried to make this place better for you
how I promised to turn myself around;
finish my homework
and not spend so much time in front of the mirror
but the power went out and by candle light
and my burning wick
he continued to practice his speech.