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We thank you right now, in Jesus’s name, Amen.” I cheer wildly. Usually, my first impulse in these situations is to shout something like: “You know they killed Jesus too! ” As a longtime atheist, I’m pretty much done with these kinds of whisky-warm embraces of faith—but listen: Jesus Creeping God! Earlier today, walking back from Arlington Cemetery—crossing the river toward the Lincoln Memorial, a sight that never ceases to amaze me—I couldn’t help but imagine what Trump with his presidency… The sackcloth dead slitting a pilgrim’s throat […] And he thinks of a lonely tower standing on the Kazakh Test Site, the tower armed with the bomb, and he can almost hear the wind blowing across the Central Asian steppes, out where the enemy lives in long coats and fur caps, speaking that old weighted language of theirs, liturgical and grave. –Delillo, When Robert Kennedy found out that his brother had been murdered in Dallas he nearly lost his mind. I remember sitting in high-school history class—this was two decades ago, at my all-boys Jesuit Prep—and suddenly, on the bulbous TV screen in front of me, I was being shown a film about Bobby Kennedy. ” * * * * And now, for your enjoyment, let us bask in the glory of Donald Trump’s favorite song, one that I also happen to adore—Ladies and Gentlemen: The Rolling Stones!

If there were a priest in this tavern I’d be begging for forgiveness. and by extension, with the way in which we’ll someday remember him, culturally. He was speaking in Indianapolis, on April 4th, 1968. In the meantime, I’ll see you all at the Chelsea Drug Store…

–Italo Calvino, They walked with many others, toward the end drawn by faint music as if coming from the ancient river itself, the last river, the boatman waiting.

–James Salter, “Arlington” Waiting, in a gradually reduced state of terror, it must have been, and exaltation, and desire, to see how death would slice the day.

And I understood then the nature of an association I must’ve always sensed, on some level: the daytime moon, astonishingly enough, is the exact same color as the monuments that define Washington, DC.

And just then I remembered that I’d seen this color before, when I was a teenager—a Latin student on vacation in Italy; at the time I was touring the ruins of the Roman forum with my father.

I refuse to recount what happened there—despite my copious notes, many conversations, and ridiculously priced drink. Perhaps she realized, then, what was going on—the people I’d just seen, —and, after a glance on her part that was filled with what I can only describe as knowing compassion, she patted my back. Now I am camped, doomstruck and confused, at the Navy Yard party for councilmember Anita Bond, which also was meant to serve as a celebration point for DC Democrats, along with the Hillary for America crew.Now there’s a series of speeches being made near the bar. All eyes are on Michigan, she says, and North Carolina, and Florida.She’s celebrating their congressional results, and also the DC vote for Statehood. But the reality of a Donald Trump presidency makes these issues depressingly moot.What I’m talking about, drastically enough, is nuclear violence: at some point, in fifty or one hundred or five hundred years, this specific North American city will be hit by the one weapon we still can’t really define, in terms of light and heat, for the simple reason that the intersection of both remains —and always will be. But seriously: what else are we supposed to deduce from a possible Donald Trump presidency than the very real reality of full-scale nuclear war: something that eventually—them’s the odds—and that, on a night like this, when the Republic itself is up for grabs, seems as probable as ever. When the forms exhaust their variety and come apart, the end of cities begins.In the last page of the atlas there is an outpouring of networks without beginning or end, cities in the shape of Los Angeles, in the shape of Kyoto-Osaka, without shape.

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