We want more brightness than money can imagine.
— Timothy Donnelly, “Dream of Poetry Defense”
This poem is an attempt at learning
how to wear flip-flops with confidence
around the oddball hub where acceptance
has begun to slowly settle in. Acceptance
in the understanding that this is home now
and will remain home for as long as it takes
the hazmat team to retard and tame the bed
head of fibrous crystals, promising cancer,
lurking in the nooks only contractors know.
Where privet money and imagination begin
to dim—childless as this space is—noon
is when first classes will start settling in.
Lesson One: exposed toes are much more
vulnerable to bloody stubs. Care for them
like a litter of hatchlings, otherwise, seeing
as there are no children here, watch out
for them with the vigilance of the young
money, who leave lights on in the hundred
rooms of this mega-mansion, ignoring
hydro bills higher than devout iowaska
decibels or burnouts hidden in the shadows
of dark parks, who’ve saved their allowance
to seek a new sound source, a heavy twang
with a tendril on the dimmer switch, an eye
out for subtle changes in the light, the same
old disagreement between dawn and dusk.