WE ARE ALL HUMAN, EVEN ON THE SOUTH LAWN IN 1972
by Heather Bourbeau
Am I sweating? Goddamn Jack Kennedy, may he rest. I never cared about the faults in my face before that SOB. Thank God for Pat. Smile, shake hands, remember key points: differences, future, enemies. Smile. “Hello, hello.” Smile. Breathe. Do not bob your head. Clasp hands behind. Clear throat. “Ready?” Yes. OK. Breathe. “Mr. Vice President…” Shit, my nose itches. “As we look to the future.” Forget the fucking nose, Dick. “We must realize that the government of the People’s Republic of China…” You are announcing history. “We will have differences in the future…” This, this will be my legacy.
Heather Bourbeau’s fiction and poetry have been published in 100 Word Story, Duende, Eleven Eleven, Francis Ford Coppola Winery’s Chalkboard, Open City, and The Stockholm Review of Literature. She has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize and has worked for the UN peacekeeping mission in Liberia and UNICEF Somalia. Her journalism has appeared in The Economist, the Financial Times, and Foreign Affairs. Her story Meliai appeared in issue 8 of Cleaver.
Image credit: simpleinsomnia on Flickr
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