Friday Poem

Cole Porter

Tell them something you can live with.

The world is a hyperbole of grief.

Say Grief and give them magic.
Your sleight of hand
is all they need to understand that magic
is its own hyperbole,
that the world they’ve been banking on
is going out of business —Sale
of the Century
across each window,

The mannequins half stripped, the windows
half empty. You at the door, handing
out coupons for anything. You

at the door, talking the language
of the restless. Because it sounds good.
Or because there’s always a market
for love in an age of discontent.

Let them bank on that.

Rob them clean. Sell them back
their own dreams and live on the profit.
Say Bargain. Say Your money
or your heart.

by Dionisio D. Martínez
from Touching the Fire
Anchor Books, 1998