The pilot’s cigarette slender German wife
begins each day alone with several cups
of thick chicory coffee and a pulp paperback.
In the new space-race subdivision, streets
edge vacant lots and dead-end driveway aprons,
the fresh made curbs go nowhere, yet,
her brick house is full of where she’s been:
big beer steins, splashy Hungarian pottery,
figurines of perfect children like her two,
blond pigtails bowed at the ends, maryjanes
tightly buckled by her firm hand, their lips
gespitz, ready to croon some ancient song.
The local moms, plump from white flour gravy
and batter biscuits, hate her without reason
watching as she scrubs her sidewalks clean
on Tuesdays, you hear them click their tongues
at such unrequited effort here in Pasadena,
where gulf rains come every other day.
When she goes to the commissary, I babysit
for fifty cents an hour, and snoop in every drawer,
put my whole face into her fragrant silky things.
My mother asks a thousand questions, but I lie,
preferring to keep her to myself, the woody
scent of Hermes Caleche, the delicate lace.