POEM XXVII: “GARGOYLE”

When I visited the White House
it was a wet spring night,
and the rhododendrons were glittering
black and orange in the sodium vapor lights.

We stood and gawked
for a little while through the fence,
and then my friend pointed out to me
the snipers who work
on the roof.
“Look, you can see them when they move,” she said,
and sure enough, after a while,
a chimney stood up and became a man,
all dressed in black, moving to another corner of the roof.

It was wet and cold, but we stood transfixed,
waiting for movement,
knowing that as avidly as we looked for them,
they were looking right back at us,
through a single, bloodshot eye.

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