PLEASE TAKE OFF YOUR SHOES BEFORE ENTERING DO NOT DISTURB
the little strangers upon entering the quiet the Shh the please
follow the signs walk do not run do not fall down or in love
be respectful of the others in the space do not offer them food
or drink especially French fries or any tokens of deep affection
Everyone is trying their best please remain calm you may
experience some turbulence flatulence a touch of total nauseating
love that is normal but keep it under control Look the head
librarian has turned on the fasten seatbelt sign please return
to your desk & duck & fasten & calm & Shh & do not
& starboard & roger that & no fries & do not
claw the walls saying you love PBS
The other passengers are trying their best to buy tomato soup
to sell their boots to wear the socks their mothers always
buy for them Do not disturb them Do however report any suspicious
weathers Crouch to sniff out large unattended clouds If you
smell something say something say Nice socks nice boots
nice tomato soup & the clouds will vanish Do not say LeVar Burton
is my lover & Mr. Rogers my dearest friend quick LeVar Rogers
let us find what we need in this great country of burning
BOTH NUCLEAR & EXTENDED
We fed our pet moth a high fiber diet
of cashmere sweaters. We fed our moth
black & white photographs of cows
standing in fog. We fed our moth Ursa Major
as best viewed in April. Star by star. Glint
by glint. We bathed our moth in the tenderly
boring dinner conversations with both nuclear
& extended family. We lay with our moth
on a quilt of night-warped tree shape & firefly love.
I told my crackpot theory about human existence.
You told me yours. Our moth tried to tell us
how the universe came into being & why,
right as a huge wind showed up, bearing
a hugely unflattering rumor about the sea.
Regarding PLEASE: The imperative, especially the polite imperative (i.e. "Please do...or do not..."), fascinates me as a feature of grammar, public signage, & parental/governmental authority. Also, a poetry professor told our class not to use imperatives in poems.
Regarding BOTH: A painter at an artists' residency this past summer told me she was terrified of moths.