It’s a Monday in 1973
the year of our Lord Richard Nixon’s departure
and Mustang Sally, Ike’s honest old retriever
seems so damn far away.
This stomach has ulcers undiagnosed
the throat is swollen, the hands shake
and breathing is more difficult than it has been.
I’m queasy and my very structure
these bones and things
seem also to be more brittle
more stretched to breaking.
I’ve got a last speech to write for him
and many other details also
and all of this with a metabolism that feels recently returned
from malaria or some summer camp for dysentery.
So sick am I becoming that I fear
this Woodward and Bernstein disease
may just be the Epstein-Barr of every hack betrayed.
Please God, have him walk directly onto the helicopter
with no turning around to make that two-fisted victory sign.
Do this one thing for me, after all
I have given so much.
-attributed to Raymond K. Price