And woe to the whalers still casting dead votes
after dining on radioactive lobsters instead of rolled oats.
Woe to the whores still brandishing poetry quotes
after the captain sentenced his queen to paddling the moat.
And woe to the sailors singing with rust in their throats
as our barnacled lifeboat sinks to the depths of Gomorrah.
Let us board the good ship Rockefeller under moonlit umbrellas
where union waiters serve flaming tequilas to Nelson Mandela.
Let us canoodle with the queen of Siam whose lipstick is vanilla
while bankers castrati taste test peeled grapes for salmonella.
Let us train the French army to make mozzarella
as we paddle our sunken lifeboats across voting plazas.
Maybe the winner will be an oily stain off the coast of Maine
or cold amoebas amassing in hopes of conquering Spain.
Maybe Bathsheba prefers raspberries to naked men in the rain,
or the captain would trade slaves for citronella candles with brains.
Maybe con artists will celebrate the last election down the drain
as we cast off from shore with the reanimated poets of historical lore.
Hope should stand taller than pink flamingos in Baltimore,
Faith shouldn’t pay monthly cable fees to hear Senatorial bores
Victory should be more nourishing than chocolate bunnies galore,
Fairness deserves better than pashas with a hundred wives who snore
Go ahead, deliver your pulpit lamentations about Hollywood gore.
Democracy is the pirate’s art of taking more and more and more.
William Nixon has published two poetry collections, “My Late Mother as a Ruffed Grouse” and “Love in the City of Grudges,” as well as several chapbooks. He lives in Woodstock, New York.