I'd kind of forgotten this year how much I love reading poetry, but I brought one of my Demetria Martinez books on the train the other day (because the book I'm "really" reading is kind of heavy and large) and it's been a pleasant reawakening. This poem was making me feel happy today.
"Not by the Gun but by the Grant Application"
Not by the gun but by the grant application,
Which was due at midnight.
You stare at your screen as if through
A windshield at a body mangled beyond recognition.
You are not amused when I say that Che
Would have hired a computer tutor.
Go ahead, blame me for dawdling
Over your shoulder, a ballpoint poet
Who should stick with her day job.
Blame the full moon for popping
And gumming up the works
Like a modern-day Luddite,
Go ahead, rage against the machine.
I will write the goddamn grant in sand.
Winds will overnight it to the Ford Foundation.
Fire ants will assemble each grain in plaintext
On the desk of a stunned bureaucrat who will
Write a check, only too happy to divest himself
Of dollars that this plague might pass over.
Peace will spread like shade over Tucson
Where we will sell horchata on the sidewalk,
Those quarters in the coffeecan, the keys
That turn the water back on, the lights back on.
Come the monsoon the sky will spit diamonds
On the repaired roofs of your clients.
For this grant cycle at least, the letter
And the spirit of the law will be one.
Even the judges will disrobe.
There will be dancing in the halls of justice.