I Never Said I Wanted to be President by Moneta Goldsmith

Yuputka, noun. A Japanese term of endearment meaning ‘the phantom sensation of something crawling on your skin.’

In my life I’ve been with two Lindsays, one Kendrick, two Sarahs. I’ve heard oh yeahs and ooh babies, let me turn over, let me be on top of you. I’ve had one Jessica, a Shulameth, four Katelyns/Caitlins/Katies. Or some variety therein. I have screamed out ‘mother’ once (that was a mistake). I’ve let her turn over or be on top of me. Once I almost let a girl turn me over.

I never said I wanted to be president when I grow up.

I’ve been slapped and pinched until I was dizzy, and swung at harder than I was ready for. I have finger-banged girls who were scared, fondled dry clothes until they were wet dishrags. I got drunk and didn’t get up, and lied that it never happens. I got naked and yelled at on the streets of Denver; bird-dogged in the rain on the streets of Denver, in a lake in Maine with swimming fireflies. Under a skirt with a flashlight once—that was second grade.

I never said I wanted to be president.

I’ve had it in a movie theater, in a hammock, a Taurus, a Rav4, a pair of Priuses – that was a party. I’ve been with white trash, heard words like mean-mugged and motorboat and popsicle-raid. I’ve had three actresses. All of them rich, and melted into the same person.

I met the first lady once. She wasn’t so great up close.

I heard her make stirring speeches about kids and food and jazz.
I watched her give tired hugs and smiling handshakes.

When it was my turn to shake her hand I gave it a big squeeze and whispered,

‘Sheraton room 766.’

I told her, ‘I know what it’s like to want to be a man.’

Moneta Goldsmith was the 2013 Grand Prize winner of Spark Anthology’s poetry contest. His prose & poetry can be found in such places as Sparkle & Blink, Under the Influence, & Best New Writing 2014. Most recently, he co-founded the popular lit mag & reading series ‘When in Drought‘, which is based in Los Angeles.

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