Ode to a Bedside Lamp
Oh alabaster lamp from the ritzy side of the road
in a pile of exquisite crap next to an original
Frida Kahlo, your light casts its crazy shadows
at angles spiders catch to read by. Burnt oranges
and dead roses enliven the circumference of your
shade. Although you asked for fishnet stockings,
these orange Clementine bags will have to do.
Do not try to dictate your shade style or I will
dust not your base. Sun and moon to my room,
source of barely heated molecules, snap of your
switch begins and ends my days. Lamp, you watch
over tapping fingers and cats purring on the printer.
And being alabaster, for the right person, you make
a convincing weapon.
by Elizabeth Kerlikowske
Editor’s note: The second line sold this poem (“exquisite crap” is an entirely unexpected image). The conversation is entirely one-sided, yet if one squints a bit, one can almost hear the lamp’s reply in an acerbic, no nonsense tone of voice.
Photo by Elizabeth Kerlikowske