TO THE BUYER OF THE SCREAM
Why not something restful, like
a still life by Morandi
you could contemplate and find
a sense of order in? Why not a landscape
by Constable to bring back trees
long since cut down? Why not
a Nolde watercolour
bright enough to burn your eyes?
You must have known
your walls will shudder as long
as they contain your new acquisition;
you must have bargained with
the sleepless nights spent listening
to a cry never stopping for breath.
How’s the demand for grief today?
There’s enough to go around:
it runs out of the faucets
when we turn them and a river’s last
drops trickle into our sinks;
it stands at the intersection with
a cardboard sign asking for a dollar;
it comes home from a war in
bandages. And every time you go
into the secret room you keep it in
to stare down the throat of every
person who can’t stand
the world they’re in, that the price
is always rising.
I wish I had thought of a
cool line like 'how's the demand
for grief today'!