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Marionberry:  jams of Washington                         

state. I thought they were mocking this city.

Take a mayor and boil his sugar down—                      

spoon-spreadable, sweet. We take presidents

and run them in a game’s fourth-inning stretch.

We take Bullets and turn them to Sea Dogs.                  

Do you remember that ballot? Sea Dogs

Dragons  Stallions  Express. The Washington

Wizards was no more or less of a stretch.

We wave gavels like wands in this city.

We’re the small town in which a president

can plant some roses. Each time I sit down                   

to try and say goodbye, all I write down

is Dear City. My neighbor walks his dogs

past a monument to a president’s

terrier, forever bronzed. Washington

has no J Street, no Z, yet the city

maps attend to fifty states and a stretch                      

of five blocks NE Metro track—a stretch

named Puerto Rico Avenue. Bow down

to the unmapped names: Chocolate City,

Simple City. Ben serves up chili dogs

through a riot, and Walter Washington

is the first and last time a president                         

picks our mayor. The truth is, presidents

come and go, four or eight years at a stretch.

Barry said, I’m yours for life, Washington;

Emperor Marion, who could get down

with Chuck Brown. Later, reporters will dog

his Bitch set me up, his graft. Dear City,                      

will you let me claim you as my city?

To love you is to defy precedent.

Your quadrants hustle like a pack of dogs

around the hydrant Capitol. They stretch

and paw, they yap and will not settle down.

Traffic:  the berry to Washington’s jam.                     

For city miles, Barry’s motorcade stretched.

We laid him among vice presidents, down

where the dogs seek congress in Washington

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