Elizabeth Warren is the candidate I want
when I want a plan. When I want
a teacher. When I want
someone to identify the problem
& the solution & write it on the blackboard
so I can copy it down
& memorize it & put it to use. When
I crave brick buildings & quiet, moss-
rich gardens. When
I miss my grandma. When
I’m feeling earnest. When I say something like quixotic
in my Southern Voice. When
I post pictures of deer to my Insta story. When
I won’t let things go.
Pete Buttigieg is the candidate I want
when I want to sew this country up
like a dog-ripped teddy bear. When I want
to believe Trump supporters
aren’t all racist, homophobic bigots. When I believe a boy
in a button-down doesn’t have to grow up
with hate in his heart. When I want
to husk some corn. When I smirk.
When I eat a hotdog. When I’m hungry,
I guess. When I go to a drag show
in Nashville. When I say nĭ hăo & hasta mañana
to my students. When I’m feeling
just a little bit pretentious.
Cory Booker & Andrew Yang are the candidates I want
when I want to believe in men. When I want
to believe that there are good dads in the world. That nerds
& jocks can be best friends.
Kamala Harris is the candidate I want
when I want to be inspired, when I want to remember
what we’ve achieved & what we have left
to achieve. When I go to a poetry reading
in Pittsburgh. When I think about Prince performing
at the Super Bowl. She’s the candidate I want
running next to me in the rain. On my trivia team. Arguing
my point for me at the bar.
Kirsten Gillibrand is the candidate I want
when I want to pick a fight, mimosa in hand.
When I want to paint my truck pink. When I see a Trump flag
& flip it off as I drive by. When I’m not feeling
very polite. When I’m feeling powerful. When
my ass looks great in these jeans. When I’m wearing
bright-blue eyeshadow to the club
& no one will see it anyway. When I roll my eyes
directly at you.
Tyler Friend is a non-binary poet & designer from Tennessee, and they received an MFA from Vermont College of Fine Arts. Tyler edits Francis House and designs for Eulalia Books.