President In My Heart

“Just wait, I’ll show you,” he cried, and struck out at them unmercifully. When he stopped and counted, no less than seven flies lay dead with their legs in the air. He couldn’t help admiring his bravery. “What a man I am,” he cried.

— “The Brave Little Tailor”
Grimms’ Fairy Tales

 

I have a president in my heart
who killed seven with a single blow!
In my heart (what else to call it?)
I have a president who killed all seven.
One was a boy doing something funny,
peeing against a wall, painting
mountains on it. The others were
bigger and did not show their breasts
or penises: one was tired with hating me;
one was holding a melon in her hands;
others were laughing or constipated or
late. I have a president in my heart
who made a bomb for all of these,
a very smart bomb with seven heads
which found their tiny windows and went in,
found even tinier mouths and noses
and ear holes and flew right in
and blew out the mess of their eyes.
I saw it on TV (I know it is true)
and the pride I felt still beats in my throat:
seven, all seven, with a single blow!
And someone told me yesterday
something I was amazed to hear,
that it was not seven after all, no,
that it was one hundred and fifty thousand,
one hundred and fifty thousand,
the number fell like confetti
on the streets and in the park.
So that is why tonight, now
the moon has turned its face away,
I am writing this poem to put into words
what I am beginning to understand:
I have a president in my heart,
and he is the darkest joy of my life.