#9 Bedford at Barrow
The broker led me up the stairs, selling me
my destiny: #9 Bedford at Barrow.
He swung the door with a wrist flick and,
I'd swear, a wink, the light came on, the broker
chatted with the super, in the hall, and while he did
I moved right in.
I scrubbed the floors and walls, long strokes
of pine and propriety, and I rinsed away
the ghosts, all dust, any old snot,
I painted the moldings the newest old gold and
I hung my wandering Jew,
hung my ever-birthing spider plants,
potted wisteria in a Mexican bowl and I
lined the cupboards with tacky bluebells, I
curtained the shower with free-floating fish,
flower powered the deep tub's slick bottom,
built a bookcase of silvered oak, and let it bend
around the corner of an odd wall,
into the newly track-lit hall where I hung paintings
by friends in a mix of abstract and abstacter,
I hung the African masks bought cheap outside MOMA,
and made up stories of Kenyan adventures, I
gathered rose-dyed lace, resistance along a curtain rod,
painted the bathroom in mauve and azure, I
hauled a brass bed into the corner,
covered it with Ralph Lauren's wildest dreams and
imagined lovers marveling. I
let the lone Italian lamp stand stoic
in the corner dubbed nuovo, I
ordered a case of wine for the weekend's soiree and I
finally, ceremoniously, and with every damn hope for the future,
all signs pointing to go,
placed a mat of finest hemp and the word "Welcome"
in seven different languages outside the door where
the broker and the super look at me,
my stupid shining eyes, the "I'll take it" on my lips.
They inform me the space had been rented
an hour before by the super's cousin,
flown in unexpectedly from small town, somewhere.