Register Thursday | June 27 | 2019

Nice

A Poem

“I think I’m kind of two-faced. I’m very ingratiating. It really kind of annoys me. I’m just sort of a little too nice. Everything is Oooo.”

—Diane Arbus


Still dark, but just. The alarm
kicks on. A voice like a nice hairdo,
sprayed. People, get ready
for another nice one. Low 20s,
soft breeze stroking through, ridge
of high pressure settling nicely.
Songbirds swallowing, ruffling,
starting in. Does anyone curse
the winter wren, calling in Christ’s name
for just one bloody minute of silence?
Of course not. They sound nice.
I pull away and he asks why I can’t
be nicer to him. Well,
I have to work, I say, and wouldn’t it be nice
if someone made some money today?
Very nice, he quavers, rolling
his face to the wall. A nice face.
A nice wall. We agreed on the green
down to hue and shade straight away.
That was a very nice day.