Six am is the politician’s hour.
The streets are briefcases and joggers, quiet
and meter maids. The streets are no one
is watching. The streets are yours at this hour
Charest. The sun rises barely red and the students
nurse their checkered bruises.
Strut like you own the fucking block.
Peacock in front of Concordia’s glass towers,
drink a beer on the lawn of McGill.
Laugh as you count the cost of your own education,
leave you bottle on the steps of UQAM.
I’ll meet you there. Complaining like a cat
with sleep dust in my eyes. It’s too early to protest,
let’s dance, I’ll say.
Dance? You’ll say.
Dance, I’ll say. Did you ever hear of Emma Goldman?
Just like her. If I can’t dance I don’t want to be in your revolution.
And it seems to me like you started this one.
We will waltz over the litter and blood stains,
pepper in my hair.
Until our feet have their own heartbeats
and the sweat rolls down our necks.
You’ll look up, then
and your laugh will fill a stadium of arrests.
What are they all doing here? You’ll ask
when you notice the thousands stomping contra
the quick pulse samba, the red tango in handcuffs
the tin lungs of the tap dancers.
How long have they been watching?
Why does it seem like everyone knows each other?
Why does it seem like they are almost having fun?
It’s early, Charest. But we will sleep when we win.