Pretend

hope at last arrives, packaged
to be consumed in markets
down in the middle, aisle 3
just enough above the floor
to be eye level with kids,
moms, dads not beyond reach
of those laser scanning guns

in aisle 7 plain spoken plastic
guns sporting GI Joes boxed
in sets tied with strings hanging
clear over the edge, a flat world
ripe as the harvest in produce

and mommies bing bang their carts
vigilantly positioned for the best
their jiggly-wheeled carts might find
like a huntress stalking the wild
drug-creamed forest of goods:
pressed fish formed treats pleasing
even to tight tucked tummies, eyes
and other common singularities
where light no longer can escape

except a warm home bathed
in aluminum tv light; heads
droning like drills into bone --
that uniform background noise
subtle as completely surrounded
might feel on a family holiday

the dog sniffed and fetched his ball, now
questions like the blank stare of trust
what invisible hand secures his bowl
that might stroke him into sleep

no matter – the plot surrounds the house
bordered by dad's strong piss with shouts
from mom, encouraging her man ape
who dreams through whispers of tunnels
reaching in his chest like a touch that pulls
a memory of joy fanned out in surrender

yet, held hard with knuckles
close as sports sorting winners
solely from winners: a cool panic
gripped secretly strained, weak
in a traitorous heart that gives