Thank you to EVERYONE who made it possible for me to read my Obama poem at Split this Rock before leaving D.C. — my sister, Sharms, who took me there, the fabulous Split this Rock hosts, the bus captain who held the bus ten minutes for me after my urgent text asking if it would be okay, Gowri Koneswaran, M.C. of tonight’s show, who squeezed me in at the very last minute, the myriad of poets who didn’t complain when I jumped the line so I could read a poem and still have a hope of catching my bus back to Chicago, the audience who gave me snaps and murmurs and clapping and silence at all the right places — they were amazing! — and the other Chicago passengers who didn’t utter a murmur of complaint when I ran across what felt like miles of parking lot and skidded onto the bus, full of apologies. It felt sort of ridiculous, the whole thing, but also sort of incredible. I felt like I needed to read my Obama poem there tonight, at the end of this strange and intense day, not far from the House that he occupied with such grace and brilliance and careful, deliberate thought for eight years. I managed to make it through the last line without quite breaking into tears. But it was close.