A Small Town Election

by Brian D. Morrison


3.  The Lesser Evil


shaves so you don’t see

stubble. They brush their teeth,

gather cash for the pool boy.

They pray and pray. When

the family wakes up, it’s eggs

and toast, sunny side up and whole

grain, oj and coffee. It’s smiles


and butter. It’s batteries dying

in cell phones. It’s shadows

of other faces’ façades. “The talk”

happens, half-hearted, and the lesser

evil warns sternly, finger pointed,

their lips a line of meaning,

against Bobby taking another


toke and a “third strike” for Julie,

who never wanted a child

of her own, anyway. Bobby,

sleeping up possibilities swirling

in his yolks, says “You know,

you are just the worst.” The lesser

evil grins because they know this


isn’t true. And so they smile.

They eat, and they live elsewhere

sitting there. They all laugh as if

this moment is the best of all

worlds. All the faces they wear

are perfect, and no one

would dare think otherwise.

A Small Town Election page 4

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