The ladybugs they traipse the walls and drapes
the braids in the rugs that wind around follow
the yellow brick road
follow the yellow brick road
once, they flash their wings, stretch their clever
secret they can drop the myth of luck and
fly away on sighs of disappointment
because dozens of them do this, live here, inside,
at first we did not dare to pinch them up
what disaster! what revenge! (from somewhere! where?)
we convinced our children to sleep with their
canvassing to let them be to believe in
their pilgrimage to our blessed beds
Outside the sidewalk splits the air thunders skulls
stakes nail us down at home the bugs multiply blind
unfettered scrounging just stupid after all
where’s our fortune now
My electric toothbrush died this morning.
I fiddled with the button,
press on press off press on press off
FLING IT across the counter.
It knocked over the oil sticks that smell
like Loving Sister and You Will Be Missed
and they sprinkled me like an aspergilla
on their way down.
There went that shirt, the first short-sleeved
I’d worn since last April. CHANGE.
Running after the garbage truck, screaming
over its roars of indigestion,
I tripped over a root and my knee took in
some pebbled boarders. I evicted
their craggy asses and patched up the holes.
But that truck had backed up its grinding
mouth into my mailbox. KNOCK it back in.
I braked at every light, the red circle cracking
up laughing with red hot STOP RIGHT THERE,
you funny funny girl.
Where do you think you’re going?
To that big race? Nobody’s in a big
race around here. We’ll just have you
take your sweet time and miss the goddamn
Orange Line train so that you can ENJOY YOUR WAIT
ON THE PLATFORM
IN THE GRITTY, PEEFUL BREEZE!
A Back Bay bum dragged his rustling coats
and leaking pride after me, beseeching
Ma’am? Ma’am? A dime? A dollar? A burger? A bang?
So I huddled with a smoky Grammie
inside an ATM kiosk, and we talked about her grandson,
running, sixteen years old and deaf in one ear,
until the bum’s face smeared away on the glass
and down the street.
I was supposed to watch a friend cross the line but
ALL THAT SERVES
TO FOIL YOU HAS CONVERGED!
I said goodbye
into the smells of grease and gravel
air vibrating with exhausted muscle
my feet skipping swift
over the Boston pavement
past the children balanced on the barricades.
Time wound me in its mercy that day
netted me in frustration
to hold me together
I went home
and cried into the bristles
of my dead toothbrush.