“A dimming bulb clings to the ceiling . . .”


A dimming bulb clings to the ceiling

By a fraying wire while she nudges

A thimble smokestack into place.

Her fingers waltz across the placid headlamps

Arrayed on the shelves, untouched by dust.


Some cracked, some hazy,

Some clear and crisp as the night outside.

Soup cans, clock hands,

Toothpicks and cufflinks bound tighter

Than anything bought in a box.


She bends a spoon around the left wheels,

Matching the watch chain on the other side.

She fastens the lens from a pair of glasses

Abandoned in a public restroom.

She gives it a mother’s grin.


A room full of crowded people,

Their painted plastic on pedestals.

She brings her own table,

Displays her latest, beaming.

They spit acid when she speaks.


She walks out with it

Swaddled in her arms,

Clutched against her bosom,

Marches home with the dignity of war,