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In My Country of
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The Kiss
Pray Marigolds
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Pray Marigolds

There's this janitor who walks around the building and checks the heat.
That's all he does
all day.
I want him to be my father
so I can take him to dinner—
a big fat wet steak, two bottles of beer and nothing to say.
I say good morning to him every morning
when morning is a little boy who wants to scream his head off.
This morning I want to scream my head off
at the fat guy in the cafeteria who hates his mother
and makes me his mother.
I am tired of being a mother,
this is what makes me want to holler
at the winter grass
that has no stars
the way spring grass
gives birth to constellations named Butch.
I knew a guy named Butch when I was 22
who worked at McDonalds and put pebbles in the hamburger patties,
cooked them up and watched little kids named Hank
choke to death between the yellow arches.
Someone always laughs when someone else falls down
a flight of stairs.
Then when they see the blood, they don't cry,
they go to a movie.
There are three things you should not have: meanness, judgment, expectation.
There are three other things you should not have:
bad eggs, a smelly basement, a broken elevator.
Because if it falls from the 89th floor to the lobby
and you are in it with no garden to plant
what do you pray?
Pray marigolds.
When the morning comes
pray begonias.
In this morning
the guy who checks the heat
looks like midnight and gets down on his knees
for warm days.
I call him Midnight to make myself not want to scream my head off.
It does not work and I go to the Laundromat and yell at the industrial strength dryer
for sucking up my quarters.
Stop sucking.
But it sucks and sucks and sucks.
Sucks the wet cold water out of my cotton underwear and delivers it out into the air
where it rises into clouds
and disappears into the cold New England morning
over the Atlantic when, at some point,
it will fall down as rain
on some poor semi-extinct whale
that has barnacles
and can sing a delirious whacked out melodious treatise
on getting laid or
god's lonely plan
and then blow the sucking of things
right out of its blow hole
which is what I want this morning
and to give one to Midnight too--
shove it into his breastplate and scream,
Blow, Midnight, blow.