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If I Were President This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.


If I were president,
I would write all of my own speeches.
They’d be short and abridged,
Reminding people of some greater cause somewhere in the world,
And then I’d walk away from the podium and off the stage,
Leaving the people wondering what I would do next.

The world would be resting on top of my fingertips.
Small and fragile, as it is,
And if I accidentally turned it upside down
I’d watch the world crumble beneath me.
Falling and breaking,
Like wet sand
As my empire grew and grew,
And grew.

But I would not do that.
For my fingertips are just as fragile as the world,
Just as soft and impressionable.
And they too could be lost in a gust of wind.
But there is something sacred, something righteous
In the idea that everything you do will be debated
By the small people in your hands who have split into groups
And brew tea with your blood.
Eventually,
Burning marks into your pointer fingers
So that even Uncle Sam can’t point at you any longer
And tell you to join the war.
His hands are so crippled.

If I were president,
Then people would crawl onto my palms and up my arms.
They’d remind me that my power could only go so far
And that my skinny fingers could only hold so much.
They’d follow my veins like pathways and create new lifelines on my palms.
They’d dance in my pools of tears.

But I would grab two tambourines, one in each hand,
And have them dance on the dancing disks instead,

I’d watch them walk in circles,
Around the looping prints on the pads of my fingers,
Deconstructing my identity as they go, until I’ve lost myself.
Because with a job as powerful as president
You oftentimes forget who you are.

And if I were president,
I’d travel to other planets,
And ask the stars if the world is dying
If we will burn out eventually like them.
And I’d debate the aliens about world trade and the souls we are forever indebted to.
I’d say I could make a difference.
But really all I’d do is paint the White House a different color

Maybe I’d write a new Constitution,
And transform the words
Into iambic pentameter,
And the amendments would be poetry
And be printed on millions of sheets,
Beautiful rhyme,

Cast out to the growing cities
Etched into every one of my joints.

But one day,
My wrists would grow tired,
The world would have grown too heavy –
Too heavy to ever go back to being light.
And my palms would drift downwards like ski slopes.
The people would slide away and fall off the edges of my fingernails,
Clutching, as if on the precipice of a cliff,
But eventually dropping like drips
Making textbooks soggy
Blurring the ink, distorting the history,
So that my reign of power would never be remembered,
As it really was.
Almost as if I had never been president.

And then,
I would watch the world lie
Underneath the soles of my feet.
And I would be forced to walk back and trace the pathways of my own veins
Like water running through the drains and back to its source.

This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.




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IWillDream54 said...
Sept. 14, 2011 at 6:06 pm
I don't know what else to say except that this is one of my favorite poems I've ever read in my life. Wonderful. Beautiful. Amazing!
 
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