Return to Permafrost Issue 38.2

The Great American Songbook

by D.G. Geis


This is where the fat lady sings.
On streets with names like Wickersham
 
Willowick, or Moreland Court.
With driveways circling endlessly
 
that fatten into liveried streets:
foie gras which even Croesus can’t upchuck.
 
Over homes incommensurable
the moon’s soft shoulders rise.
 
Above the rooves, her nipples jut
where night’s décolletage sticks thing together
 
like pizza flyers tied to doorknobs.
A little further is the Country Club,
 
and bus stops where the maids all clump.
And spastic ghosts still hovering
 
beneath the eaves, rich old coots long dead,
dazed, diffused, and before that, catheterized
 
by LVNs in beat up Fords.
And no sirens trill to bring them home.
 
With fifteen story pines to croon “Goodnight’
and dream of mansions they’ll become.
 
One fine day quarter-sawn and Tyveked,
wrapped like Jesus in his borrowed tomb,
 
sacrificed by Aztecs in utility belts.
Bare chested, hearts in hand, they wave
 
to garbage men and gringo nannies
from skeletons of wood.
 
And all the uppity realtors
driving slowly by,
 
leaning out their windows,
watching, waiting,
 
smiling–
 
waving back.