by Lenny DellaRocca
The woman downstairs has hired a man to tear apart everything
she owns. Since her husband died
she carries grief around
in a suitcase of birthdays.
She gives the workman a pitchfork,
advanced payment for his beautiful rage.
He smashes her piano and stove
with his blue eyes
while the skeleton of her long marriage
sits in a bathtub reading a novel
until he takes is apart
with his bare hands.
He beats the daylights out of
her art deco lamps the shape of
little Empire State Buildings.
A 911 of clouds billow from her windows.
He’s burning her wedding gown
and the undergarments she bought
on her honeymoon at Niagara Falls.
Stop it! I tap on her door the old Shave-and-a-Haircut routine—
but my wife says he’s under 55,
won’t know that nostalgic
code, that analogue wonder wheel.
Besides, he can’t hear me tapping
over that Vicki Carr record
turned up louder than pink china
and long expired birth control dials
thrown against walls.
The neighbors come out of her mirrors
to tell me about her
dinner parties, everyone
doing the Twist
in mini-skirts and tails.
The handyman says he’s left his garage
for this, his special weekend.
And I need to stop him.
Stop her before she lets him smash
the corpse in apartment 1202—
Love I tell her is not something you miss with a hammer.
Lenny DellaRocca is founder and co-publisher of South Florida Poetry Journal–SoFloPoJo.