A Poem by Natalie Shapero

My Hair Is Kind of My Thing

Where’s good around here? I like the chromed-up diner
with its pineapple upside-down cake and its pendant
lamps and its kitschy old war posters framed on the wall,
as though we are not still also now at war. As though
we can look back and laugh. I like how they only take

cash, reminding us who’s on money and also why
in God’s name would you want to appear on money?
Think of what people would buy with you. Miles
of booze, seats in the loge, an exquisite at-home stump
guaranteed to produce at least ten esoteric

mushrooms before it dies in your kitchen, at which
point you just get a new one. Overheard yesterday eve
on the stuck train: birthday guests debating gift
approaches. I’m so tired. What could you possibly get
for the boy who already has a fire truck? A fire.

Natalie Shapero is the Professor of the Practice of Poetry at Tufts University and an editor at large of the Kenyon Review. Her poetry collections are Hard Child and No Object.

The Poetry Section is edited by Mark Bibbins.