national anthology of the best undergraduate writing 2014

It’s Election Night

Itai Thaler  • 
Tufts University

And the air tastes like smoke and glazed doughnuts
and you could suck it in
’til you’re sick
on sugar and ash, and your teeth crack
between vices.


You didn’t vote
(you should vote!)
you didn’t vote—not apathy, you couldn’t manage
to wrap five fingers around the lever.
You stayed in the booth for too long
and got stares on the way out.


The air tastes like smoke and glazed doughnuts—
like a childhood diner upstate
with a wooden Injun
guarding the door.
And if you just keep inhaling it’ll be another day,
another night.