I love the crown molding and the white granite countertops. And look, dear! Stainless steel appliances! Don’t you love them? It’s such a perfect apartment, and, in every room, a coffered ceiling. And don’t you love the pink twin sinks, like porcelain scallops? And listen to the faucets, like the rush of a waterfall heard through thick woods just as the birds began to sing early one morning years ago in the hills outside Florence. Where are you going? Love fills me the way the sun surprises the room when I pull the string and the curtains open. Pinch-pleat curtains, crinkle-voile, semi-opaque, and sheer! Soft as love when I stroke them, warm as love against my cheek, a scent of spring rain gentling the petunias when I wrap myself in them until I cannot see, until I cannot move my arms or legs. Of course, I’d love to see the guest bedroom with its walk-in closet and built-in shoe shelf, its en suite bath with the whirlpool tub! Let me just wipe my eyes on these curtains. Let me just untangle. The view through this window is so lovely, the far fingers of smoke trembling over the distant city where the workers— rich black thoughts pour from the smokestacks is all I have to say about the workers. No, sorry, I’m still here, wrapped in the curtains. They were so alluring, voluptuous, really, if curtains can be voluptuous against bare skin. You continue with the tour, dear, and I’ll be along presently. The sky is rose chiffon, the clouds like pressed flowers above the smokestacks, just leave me here, restrained and lavished at once! And the window, with its inviting coolness to the tongue. To my tongue. It’s like I am licking those smokestacks!
Copyright © 2018 by Kevin Prufer. Originally published in Poem-a-Day on July 25, 2018, by the Academy of American Poets.