Something It Wasn't
Better homes and gardens for many
but for the rest, we are not so sure.
We need a place to turn around and be unctuous
in, feeling it not as a lack but
as something to be warded off. We are
not done with shoe polish yet
in a way we are. Isn't that inventiveness
or something coercive like a lash that cracks
close to the cheek, something you give back
after keeping it for a while?
As sure as there are servants in heaven
others will come up to you and ask what it was
you did today, whether nests were full
and anxious, and what kind of sun sprayed
on the corners of a cheap notebook
to be dreamed as all things are, except
for fountains and animals lisping kind losses,
fervent, over here. The way it is right now.
(From a folio of six poems appearing in the Spring 2009 edition of The Paris Review)