By Michael Collier
A few of us—Hillary Clinton, Vlad Dracula,
Oprah Winfrey, and Trotsky—peer through
the kitchen window at a raccoon perched
outside on a picnic table where it picks
over chips, veggies, olives, and a chunk of pâte.
Behind us others crowd the hallway, many more
dance in the living room. Trotsky fusses with the bloody
screwdriver puttied to her forehead.
Hillary Clinton, whose voice is the rumble
of a bowling ball, whose hands are hairy
to the third knuckle, lifts his rubber chin to announce,
"What a perfect mask it has!" While the Count
whistling through his plastic fangs says, "Oh,
and a nose like a chef." Then one by one
the other masks join in: "Tail of a gambler,"
"a swashbuckler's hips," "feet of a cat burglar."
Trotsky scratches herself beneath her skirt
and Hillary, whose lederhosen are so tight they form a codpiece,
wraps his legs around Trotsky's leg and humps like a dog.
Dracula and Oprah, the married hosts, hold hands
and then let go. Meanwhile the raccoon squats on
the gherkins, extracts pimentos from olives, and sniffs
abandoned cups of beer. A ghoul in the living room
turns the music up and the house becomes a drum.
The windows buzz. "Who do you love? Who do you love?"
the singer sings. Our feathered arms, our stockinged legs.
The intricate paws, the filleting tongue.
We love what we are; we love what we've become.
Happy Halloween! We spent the morning carving the pumpkin and toasting the seeds, then pondered going to either the National Arboretum or Meadowside, but we wanted to be here when the neighborhood party started, so instead we went to Locust Grove because I'd told Paul about the leaves along the creek. They were still gorgeous and we saw deer walking in the trees across the water from us, plus lots of squirrels and chipmunks. We also watched some of the Rugby World Cup and some of the Terps game, but no one I was rooting for had a good day.
Then I got dressed and we went to the community Halloween celebration, which includes music, pizza, a costume parade, and chatting with lots of neighbors while being surrounded by Avengers, Harry Potter characters, animals (including some animals in animal costumes), Mutant Ninja Turtles, and a TARDIS. The trick-or-treaters started arriving the moment the parade ended, before we even had the pumpkin lit, but we got organized and gave out at least six bags of fun-size candy bars! We watched Doctor Who and The Last Kingdom as the stragglers came through.