-For BJ Ward
I fingered the glassware, sat down alone
in a blue love seat,
consumer brain switched on, soul elsewhere like wind
that suddenly had enough of being where I was.
I had left the incompleteness of my living room,
easy power of MasterCard in my wallet,
to the carelessness of scrawling my name
because my name was clear, raised up, perfect.
And here I was
among the model, unpeopled rooms,
same hardcover book in all the bookshelves,
lamps attached to armrests,
things that swiveled, pulled out, beckoned.
The other shoppers spoke of what they couldn't
live without, what they would
die for. There were ahhs rising from that certainty
of desire. What was it that I was missing?
A salesman came by,
asked if he could help with anything,
unaware of the extravagance of his question.
I was sorry, he couldn't,
took the escalator down past Lazy-boys, the all-
purpose wall units. The sliding doors opened
and I could see for the first time
how by design the other stores formed a circle,
and how I was in the middle of that circle—
without proof of purchase
or purpose—no matter which way I turned.