Redeemed Area

from Your Name Here (2000)

        Do you know where you live?
	Abner is getting too old to drive but won’t admit.
	The other day he got in his car to go buy some cough drops
	of a kind they don’t make anymore.  And the drugstore
	has been incorporated into a mall about seven miles away
	with only about half the stores rented.  There are three
	other malls within a four-mile area.  All the houses
	are owned by the same guy, who’s been renting
	them out to college students for years, so they are virtually uninhabitable.
	A smell of vitriol and socks pervades the area
	like an open sewer in a souk.  Anyway the cough drops
	(a new brand) tasted pretty good—like catnip
	or an orange slice that has lain on a girl’s behind.
       That’s the electrician calling now—
	nobody else would call before 7 A.M.  Now we’ll have some
	electricity in the place.  I’ll start by plugging in
	the Christmas tree lights.  They were what made the whole thing
	go up in sparks the last time.  Next, the light
	by the dictionary stand, so I can look some words up.
	Then probably the toaster.  A nice slice
        of toast would really hit the spot now.  I’m afraid it’s all over
	between us, though.  Make nice, like you really cared,
	I’ll change my chemise, and we can dance around the room
	like demented dogs, eager for a handout or they don’t
	know what.  Gradually, everything will return to normal, I
	promise you that.  There’ll be things for you to write about
	in your diary, a fur coat for me, a lavish shoe tree for that other.
        Make that two slices.  I can see you only through a vegetal murk
	not unlike coral, if it were semi-liquid, or a transparent milkshake.
	I have adjusted the lamp,
	morning’s at seven,
	the tarnish has fallen from the metallic embroidery, the walls have fallen,
	the country’s pulse is racing.  Parents are weeping,
	the schools have closed.
        All the fuss has put me in a good mood,
	O great sun.