Travelers Welcome

Travelers Welcome

Sunday, October 17, 2010


by Michael H. Brownstein

Here are the piles of bills,
the books of the house,
a stack of Forbes and The New Yorker,
pages folded inward marking an advertisement—
or is it the model my son likes?
The paid bills go here,
receipts no longer needed to the garbage
or the fireplace—
the garbage already full.
Blank cards and unused envelopes,
manuscripts and ten by eleven photographs
(Mia Maestro, trees, the beach
with someone else’s dog),
bills due now,
bills we can hold onto longer,
bills we never intend to pay,
newspapers with Obama on the front page,
newspapers with his picture inside,
newspapers in plastic bags,
plastic bags.
More bills and the music of the house—
CDs, cassettes, an old forty-five, an older seventy-eight—
the doodlings of the house,
prose manuscripts,
advertisements with Mia Maestro.
advertisements for the fireplace—
without Mia Maestro
late bills,
bent bills,
bills folded and torn,
a candle,
large vanilla envelopes full of bills.
Artifacts for the house.

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