What I Worry about at Night is Not What I Worry about in the Morning

Something of the dark loves money
overspent and unpaid,
a quaint redundancy’s
due bill: shoots sucker to night’s loam,

bursting it cell by cell.
I wake crawling the length of my bed or I have never, actually, slept.
A neat expensive garment,
“carries an exemption from personal contact

with industrial processes
of any kind,”
which means I’ll pay, but how? A question
cut on the bias—

even the King of Pop is making a decent living again, despite dying.
I returned the rose-gold bracelet yesterday,
but not the navy jacket.
The possum, the crickets, the rats’

drunk and duly appointed
Dean of Exchequer
rattle the trained shrubs outside my window,
setting off a moral racket, plus bird cries.

What species?
The kind that slide deadbolts into trees.
Impulse control v. material humanism.
Take Emperor Tiberious, who wore a crown of bay leaves

to ward off lightning.
His heart stopped its obsessive
beating at the age of 77 and the crowds assembled outside cheered, falling silent
when he momentarily revived

only to be smothered (cue joy) by Caligula, his nephew,
who blew through the Empire’s
surplus, big time.
Parts of this story are certainly untrue, but which ones?

There is a green tree in my yard I think I’d like to kill and pull.
There are sleeping pills.
There is a decorative fountain of ecstatic remorse
rigged to the filling and emptying

of watered-down resolutions.
Trusts, deeds, dresses, gall, gin!
Lewd frogs on bullhorns, disproportionately tiny
royalty checks,

so many pretty things to buy
and the soul’s future earnings
impossible to calculate,
though MJ’s mother’s lawyers keep trying.

If I’m lucky and make it to 77
(neither of my careful parents did),
it’s likely I’ll outlive
my savings and be quite sorry, a guy in the NY Times predicts.

Ontologically speaking, I shouldn’t be okay with that. I light
a scented candle
to keep me company—
Salted Caramel from Henri Bendel, my favorite.