And the shopping center said, give me, give me.
And the moon turning on its pole said, I love you, you who have so much to give.
And you said, darling, if you could just wait in the car for ten minutes and I'll be right out—
And the sliding doors opened for you like a coat.
Then the car ticked like the contented in the catatonic snow
and the black boys at the bus stop laughed in their hoods until a bus dragged them
through the night and away—
And a woman paced beneath the store.
Sometimes, I can hear the nation speak through the accumulation of the suburbs—
Olive Garden and Exxon; Bed, Bath & Beyond, the stars that throw their dimes
around us all
until the eyes say Love and the streets say Yes! and the parking lot
fills with angels blowing past the lines of freezing cars.
You had been inside for longer than you said, and when you reemerged
I went to help you with the bags. I'm sorry, sorry—into the cold air—I couldn't help—
What was the body but a vessel, and what was the store but another,
larger vessel? The keys sang in my numb fingers. The flag applauded in the wind.
And then I saw that you were smiling up at it.