Paolo's Politics

Under a string of streetlamps you lean against the exoskeleton of a broken bike rack and dream of the taste of strawberry soda pop in your native country. In that land time turns from violent to drowsy within seconds; bloody lips soon kissing bloody hands with forgiveness. Cafes crawl into highways and highways into graveyards, which cling to the ocean that opens up cafes where couples play games of hearts. And, in the center of all this life, osseous government buildings ply their brittle innocence near the plaza where reptilian women float on carpets made of old newspapers, or ride blind rams down back alleys gouged into the blackness of gambling dens and cantinas where vows to celibacy and sobriety are scrawled on battered tabletops. People know and wink at one another there, waiting for the band to strike up a dance with crucifix daggers firmly planted in their hands. Everyone understands the subtleties of the seasons - when to submit, when to command, when to confound their fellows with strokes of genius.
        Those people, unlike your adopted kin, know cessation and excess remain a part of the same plan. Those people meet morning with a lisping prayer and evening with a jolting curse, conscious of the magic of inconsistence, impertinence, even the ridiculous. With this in mind, you manage to climb the iron fence in search of George Washington's legendary wooden teeth. You are sure they smell of maple syrup, book mites and tobacco leaves. You will never find him resting on the great length of the lawn though, lounging lazily among the endless rows of perfectly manicured blades of grass and sprinkler hoses. He will not greet you as an old friend, naked from the waist up, with an axe in one hand and a packet of apple seeds in the other, ready for action. No, you will never even make it past the frustrating habit of being interrogated and then escorted home by his henchmen who dress the part of humorless manikins, who never beat you or treat you to a drink at the end of the ride, who only demand you stick to the blandishments of the master plan. Unlike your country, this place keeps to its standards - never too far left, never too far right - sticking exactly to the story as it appears on the page, bereft of further imagination but full of pride.
Caleb Puckett