The Heart Breaks Down Like a Mechanical Device

by Howie Good
The repairman says mice have chewed
through the wires.
Thank you, I say – to the mice.
Maybe now I can think
without being interrupted.
But first I must do something
about the Styrofoam peanuts
scattered all over the floor,
and then there’s the fire to strum
and the Bureau of Weights and Measures to contact.
My wife won’t be any help.
She’s hiding in our bedroom,
embarrassed that we have grown children.
I pat my pockets as if searching for cigarettes,
or, if not cigarettes, symptoms.
One side of me is cold and dark;
the other side, cold and bright.
I exchange melancholy glances
with the deer head on the wall.
The repairman says he’ll be back.
Quiet, I say, the baby’s sleeping.
Howie Good, a journalism professor at the State University of New York at New Paltz, is the author of six poetry chapbooks, including most recently Tomorrowland (2008) from Achilles Chapbooks. He has been nominated three times for a Pushcart Prize and twice for the Best of the Net anthology.

© 2009, Howie Good