It keeps on happening again and it will
be forgotten again until it’s September.
We’re in the tall building paying the bill
overdue to the city for gas to fuel
our furnace. We’re thinking November—
it keeps on happening again—and we’ll
need heat. Now it’s still summer, too hot until
fall to turn off the AC. Consider
that other cloudless day, paying the bill
in City Hall. It’s way too high now, still
we pay it. Look at the line, at him, her—
it keeps on happening again and it will.
Energy’s costly. We forget it can kill.
Though some of our children can’t remember,
we in the building paying the bill
look at the date, at the window sill,
think of their choice between jump and tinder.
It keeps on happening again and it will.
We’re in the tall building, paying the bill.
from Poetry (October 2012)