Like millions of other people, I have been walking around today with a tight clutching ache just below my lungs. It's the feeling you get when you've lost a bad bet and are forced into some terrible dare. It doesn't matter that the bet was shady or that the dare is open-ended and likely to escalate.
I'm not watching the inauguration today, nor am I planning to write through it; I don't find dread that inspiring. Instead, I'll teach. I'll teach tomorrow and the next day, and I'll try to do it with compassion and care. I'll hold my boyfriend's hand and eat foreign foods. This summer, I'll go to my silly German-themed water park and race small kids down the slides. Over the next year, I'll write, even though I know that poetry doesn't have a big effect on most of the world, though the small impact on the very few might be enough. Over the next four years, I will try to be kind and decent. I will try to be better than the future that I fear.