by Michael Biehl

God bless cookiecutter houses,
cookiecutter poems, cookiecutter people.
Pigeons! Pizzas!
Penelope gazes about, and licks her chops.
One hundred and one stores, all massminded,
even Vuitton
the staged lighting,
the clerks’ sitcom happiness,
the supportive, soporific music . . .
Penelope gazes and muses,
her eternal soul grazes
on plants pretending to be plastic.
She has earrings
on her mind,
something gaudy, dangling, vulgar,
yet laserlike
pink striped chartreuse.
She’s a sucker, one born every minute,
and loves it. Sucking the lollipop
of shopping, her soul
happily bobbing
like a toy boat on a baby sea.
She doesn’t blame her optimistic parents
for being surface, she blesses them for it,
this gargantuan gift
of superficiality:
which requires such intelligence, diligence, discipline
that it has all the elements of prayer:
prayer sufficient
unto the day.