I do hereby solemnly swear and affirm and affix
many foil seals with arcane symbols
to the lividly carcinogenic spirit
of Senator Joseph Raymond McCarthy
of Wisconsin, a state I like even still
for letting Matt live there in happiness
with his wife, for being the only place of birth
Karri is likely to have. And further
do I tiresomely swear with my face
made up in moral gravity that in most ways
I am fucking awesome
and not a subversive person interested in
or committed to the overthrow of governments
by violence, disobedience or denial
of gym membership. I swear
upon many stacks of leather bound Bibles
the Gideons leave in hotel rooms
where I often went with lovers
to roll around for entire weekends
in sheets we fouled with ourselves and Chinese takeout.
I swear on your mother’s grave
and the fresh one beside her
where your father sleeps beneath new sod.
On my children screaming inside me
to hurry up and create them
with a foolish but lovely woman.
On her body’s every curve
by which I know how not to grow lost
when all there is to see by
is the moon tumbling from the sky
and the alarm clock’s red math.
I swear this and avow that
and sometime I promise
to promise to never violate
the Geneva Convention in all its charming quaintness.
I depose and declare
and many other verbs
which sound wondrously stern.
I lay down with my heart
and my hand above it
and both are filled with blood
and every breath swears its false oath so help me God.