There is no stranger place in America then in front of the White House at night. As the seat of the nation's power, the White House it attracts a bizarre mix of life; people that would otherwise not meet together anywhere else. Young interns on dates, tourists taking pictures, high powered consultants and political fixers going home late from their office, anti-war protestors, paranoid conspiracists looking to hop the fence.
They all meet their to look at this symbolic building, to take their grievances directly to the president's front door. Exactly a year to the day after these little events were marked in my notebook, and in the same place, a diverse group of Americans took their grievances to the president in protest for racial justice. They were met with tear gas, explosions and batons, all so the former president could take a picture with an upside down bible. How did we get there?
Now Joe Biden has been inaugurated as the 46th President, with National Guard troops sleeping in the Capitol for the first time since the Civil War. What should be noted in this poem is how unremarkable the scene is, how mundane the events recorded, and in the absence of any action, it should be noted how quickly the world we take for granted can be turned upside down. Consider this poem something of historical erasure, where what speaks loudest is what is not present. There is no coronavirus, no protests, no insurrectionists storming the U.S. Capitol. Just life. Just people moving around alongside one another. Just us. Which is, of course, the true seat of our power. -Chris Carson