What Rough Beast | Poem for April 25, 2017

Melinda Thomsen
Multi-Layered Chocolate Cake at Mar-a-Lago

“He was eating his cake,” Mr. Trump said of Mr. Xi, “and he was silent.”

The three layered chocolate cake
sports a white chocolate sign
that says TRUMP. It rests on a dollop

of white chocolate icing. So, if you order
the cake, you must read TRUMP before
you pick it off and fling it on the floor.

If you eat even one smidge of that white
chocolate diamond TRUMP sign, you swallow
hubris, ignorance, and shallowness whole.

What happens next? Amnesia takes over.
You forget you launched 59 tomahawk
missiles at Syria. You brag they went

to Iraq. You blank on the North Korean
dictator’s name who you just insulted
that morning. That intoxicating confection

of cocoa, eggs, and butter with whipped,
creamy cherry frosting dabbed between
each layer will lobotomize you. Delicious

dark chocolate Ghirardelli icing over
the top reflects only you, a pearl couched
in a blue point oyster, your world.

Dessert permeates your mind. Fingers
of sugar wrest whatever humanity
is left in your brain and rain paranoia

through out room in TRUMP platelets.
Those hardened candies skitter endlessly
under chairs and across neighboring tables.

You order more slices. You shoot TRUMP
signs off faster. You turn into a wood chipper
shooting TRUMP pieces everywhere you can.

People start staring at you as horror creeps
across their faces in a slow march, drained
by hunger and exhaustion, as they remember.


Melinda Thomsen is the author of the chapbooks Naming Rights (Finishing Line Press, 2008) and  Field Rations (Finishing Line Press, 2011). Her poetry has appeared in Heliotrope, Poetry East, Big City Lit, New York Quarterly, Heart of the Order: Baseball Poems, Blues for Bill: A Tribute to William Matthews, and Token Entry: New York City Subway Poems.

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