BUYING THE MODEL
The man with first dibs fell
through some unforeseen ice.
Now a vague smudge on the
his security is ash,
the cul-de-sac's quota lies
in fresh shambles.
All furnishings stay back
as he might have left them
as he found them the day his wife fell
in love with the self-
kitchening kitchen, his kids blinked
in the room-with-peering-
Everyone could see
where the dog would curl.
The model is how a decorator sees
fabric arranged: pillows and cushions
a calculated frenzy, closets for Imelda,
object d'art staggered like clever chess.
This is the deluxe floor plan stacked
with rooms where rooms can only wait,
deciding what lifestyle fits best:
study, sun, dine, read, fuck, shit.
Life groans like old rafters beneath
shelter's winding ambition. Who lives
enough to deserve this space?
Coaxed like proper prospects,
we kick schools, run imaginary
numbers like deficit-hawks.
The lady recites sly calculations,
sampling our ease with commas.
Will the coupons be happy
I whistle, picturing a new style,
and mark off where I will find
the small privacies to hide.
Norman Ball is a Virginia-based writer and musician. His poetry has
appeared in The Berkeley Poetry Review, The Sow's Ear Review, Lynx Eye,
Main Street Rag and The Cumberland Poetry Review.