When I am president
subways will be quieter. I’ll hire the
unemployed to wax the rails, and trains will
sound like ice moving over ice. And
conductors will no longer blare, “Watch the
closing doors!” because no one ever watches
the closing doors. There’s nothing to see
about closing doors. Instead, conductors
will read from Euripides. If you travel the
whole length of the E train, you’ll hear
the whole Medea. Euripides is the
best guide to human life, because
he is sad, yet brave.
This same sad bravery I will bring to
the presidency — a stance dormant since Lincoln.
“We are doomed, perhaps,” I will announce. “The
sun is breaking through the sky to slay us with
cancer, because we were
foolishly indulgent with whipped cream.
But we must set our course aright.”
And all the women in the nation
will weep, and the men will have a tear in their
eye that can’t quite descend,
and the people will cry for repentance.
“Repentance! Repentance!”
And I will blind myself with a
can opener and wander the
streets and prophesy
and plant an oak tree, and beneath this tree
a woman will sit seven years, then she’ll rise and
save us from the sun,
and the cancer will leave our faces,
and we’ll sing a new song,
which will resemble the music of Euripides
that has been lost for centuries. And the
conductors will sing
that, as we ride on waxed rails, like
ice over ice.