Leisure, Hannah, Does Not Agree with You
Leisure, Hannah, does not agree with you.
Mouth stuffed with garlic cloves
testicular in shape and pungency, you asked yourself permission
for a chicken’s breast, a loaf of bread slicked with butter,
a cake with cherry glazes that would delight
any little girl with gaps in her teeth clapping “Cake!
Oh, cake! It is so worth a soiled dress!”
It’s as if, Hannah, leisure entered through your pores
and made you poor in spirit: “I have no work to push me,
I have no love to hold me, I have no hope to lift me. Only cleaning—”
which is not truly leisure, Hannah!
But you can fold these shirts like they do in the boutiques, sweetness.
Take a little pride in the smallish things—how shiny, your blue teakettle!
Tree branches slam against the windows, but your house
is a fortress; and you are too, Hannah.