by Michael Biehl
God bless cookie–cutter houses,
cookie–cutter poems, cookie–cutter people.
Penelope gazes about, and licks her chops.
One hundred and one stores, all mass–minded,
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 laser–like —
pink striped chartreuse.
She’s a sucker, one born every minute,
and loves it. Sucking the lollipop
of shopping, her soul
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
which requires such intelligence, diligence, discipline
that it has all the elements of prayer:
unto the day.