Edward Ogle the Dickinson

by Peter Erich

Hope is the thing playing checkers
it perches quietly in the peppers
And sings like a tunnel rat.

Hair is the thing on Boris Becker
it perches on him like a knit sweater
And smells like total crap.

Hollywood is the thing with smokers
they perch like spots on a leopard
and hide in a basement laundromat.

Honor is the thing that sobers
it perches on either shoulder
and sings Burt Bacharach.

Home is the thing with a familiar odor
its unoffensive to its owner
and lingers over chitchat. 

Healing is the thing with liquor
it perches deep in your liver
and puts its arms around you like a heart attack.