Exquisite Communist

by Denise Duhamel & Maureen Seaton


Their world is red banners and small potatoes,
soft rotten ones sprouting eyes.
Doctors and plumbers are paid the same
as dogwalkers. Everyone wears brown and loden green.
Even the children blossom in shades of tan.
The sky is a gray metal file cabinet,
the stars full of spy secrets.
Once the tallest building in the Bronx
was the Russian building. It leaned as the government leaned
into China or Vietnam. The computers were big
and old and not very good, statues the color of mold,
their genitals shrunken, frozen, sorrowful.
There is one communist left in New York City. Her name is Sam
and she would prefer it if you gave your leftovers
to the neighbors. If she were president
someone would probably murder her instantly,
in her sleep, and she'd never get media coverage.
I did my eighth grade social studies report on Communism.
I liked the ideas, though I never got around to becoming one.