The Washington PostDemocracy Dies in Darkness

Opinion Person, Woman, Man, Camera, TV

He remembers the words perfectly. (Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post)
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He remembers the words perfectly: first, person

Next came woman

Then man

Then camera

Last, TV.

There was nothing easier to remember than TV.

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TV is the glass house where he throws stones. He has not been a person

For a long time now, except to a camera

And even then not so much person as a garbled man

Stick-figure strong, to be distinct from woman.

It was not hard to recall simply “woman”

With no name attached. And it might play well on TV

Not to have simply camera and man

But also something else: woman, and person

Which could be anyone, could please the camera.

It is imperative to please the camera!

The public is as querulous as a woman

Always complaining. The 145,000th person

Died in America today, says the bottom of the TV.

He doesn’t know if it was a woman or a man.

It is of no importance. Donald Trump is the man!

He looks into the camera

And it adds 10 pounds, 21 grams of which is soul. It lives in the TV,

This much-more-real reflection. He stares at it, the way the woman

Stared at Narcissus, staring at himself. Just for now he is a person.

This is the order he will forget the words in, too. First person, then woman

Next man, then camera

Last TV.

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