Ted Cruz Injures His Hand at a Party at the Governor’s Mansion

and it’s not really his fault. But whose fault is it anyway, when a man is injured? And why did no one tell Ted that there were still nail holes in the banister in the front hall from when Governor Hogg’s kids couldn’t help themselves and were constantly sliding down like some Leave it to Beaver nonsense? It seems like something the docent might have cared to mention before Ted wound up with a sliver of wood in his palm. Now he’s trying not to make a weird face while he picks at the skin, wanting badly to remove this aberration from his hand. And now there’s blood. Ted presses an off-white cloth napkin into his palm. It’s not that deep of a cut, really. Someone else might try to find a first-aid kit, but Ted just takes his bourbon into the restroom and pours it into his hand, pulls out the splinter. It stings, but it’s not the first time he’s injured his hand—his hand-shaking hand, even—on something mysterious and possibly unsanitary. He’s been fishing many times and there was that one incident where he almost sliced right through his thumb on his cousin’s rusty tackle box. He had to get stitches that time. At the ER. Wouldn’t let any of the guys on the boat sew him up with fishing line—though the bastards had wanted to try. Thank God they hadn’t. Ted still has his thumb, after all. He squeezes the napkin to his bourbon-soaked palm as he re-enters the party—what was this a fundraiser for again?—smiling at woman across the room. She quickly turns to look at the painting behind her. Ted backs himself up against a wall, making a mental note to get a tetanus shot.

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E. Kristin Anderson is a poet, Starbucks connoisseur, and glitter enthusiast living in Austin, Texas. She is the editor of Come as You Are, an anthology of writing on 90s pop culture (Anomalous Press), and Hysteria: Writing the female body (Sable Books, forthcoming).  Kristin is the author of nine chapbooks of poetry including A Guide for the Practical Abductee (Red Bird Chapbooks), Pray, Pray, Pray: Poems I wrote to Prince in the middle of the night (Porkbelly Press), Fire in the Sky (Grey Book Press), 17 seventeen XVII (Grey Book Press), and Behind, All You’ve Got (Semiperfect Press, forthcoming). Kristin is an assistant poetry editor at The Boiler and an editorial assistant at Sugared Water. Once upon a time she worked nights at The New Yorker. Find her online at EKristinAnderson.com and on twitter at @ek_anderson.