Long as a Quart of Milk

Once I undressed a tree,
got a splinter in my thumb
and decided that was it
for one night stands.

The woman next door who
dresses in clothes that make her
look like the English countryside
keeps yelling at her son
about being spoiled.

I wish I could help him,
tell her of course he’s spoiled
it’s hot out so she should keep
him in a room with the a.c. on.
It would keep him fresh longer
or at least as long as a quart of milk.

I rent a small studio in the tenement building
next door that looks like Lou Reed.
I’ve lived here for awhile and have no plans
of moving. There really isn’t any point now
that I know this neighborhood so well I can
recite any street by heart to anyone
who will listen.


Copyright © 2015 by Kevin Pilkington. Originally published in Poem-a-Day on May 18, 2015, by the Academy of American Poets.

About this Poem

“The urban landscape informs many of my poems. This narrative is a retelling of an experience with a neighbor and her child blended with the imagination.”
Kevin Pilkington