That New Year’s Marathon

One thing I appreciate about Twilight Zone is
that it is unprejudiced against urban life.
That is, hell may occur in sunny suburban lanes
or in smoke-clogged tenements of sirens, noise,
but heaven may also be in a crowded brownstone
of strangers become friends, and there’s
nothing wrong with taking the bus to work,
shelling out your nickels and dimes, even if
you’re a woman. Think of Carol Burnett
in that one episode, doling out cookies
and blandishments, the countless everyday
greetings of a certain kind of city life,
until her guardian angel comes and
fouls things up, places her in a mansion,
a tiara on her head, battered by rounds of
applause, empty praise from puffed-up
know-nothings at the kind of party where
a single high-heeled shoe is found
the next morning. The answer, of course,
was to put her back where she was,
leaping for joy up the steps of her home,
almost crashing into the mailman.
So many separate orbits intersecting,
so many ways to be happy, live a life,
no need — if you don’t dig it —
for wasp waists and pearls, wide lawns,
a cultured accent to use on the phone.



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