Q&A: Insurance

If time is an arrow, what is its target

If a Flexible Flyer is the sled I had as a child, when may I become a child again

Do you need help digging the potatoes out of your garden of insults

Do you plan to vote in the next election

Is our country headed in the right direction or the wrong direction
             and what did the bulldozer tell the yellow helmet’s ear

Which part of your body is like biting into a ripe peach
             which part shames you like a rotten banana

Would you like to find out how to lower your interest rate

When you go to heaven how old will you choose to be
             will you have cocktails on the well-watered lawn
                         where Bach conducts Bach

Will you still chase after the Grateful Dead

Is your life like air leaking out of a balloon, or like rain falling on a pond
            dot dot dot      dear pocks     pocking the surface     dot dot dot

Can it be like snow falling on the ocean

Can desire drown you like syrup over pancakes

When an ambulance siren wakes you at 3 a.m. do you feel relieved
            not to be strapped to that stretcher
                         speeding toward the grim unknown
                                       do you then snuggle next to someone

Are you satisfied with your detergent

Can you name a more perfect irony than the new world trade center, sacred icon of
            capitalism, revered lingam of profit, soaring above the 
memorial pools
                                        of people killed when the first towers fell

Can you describe the scent of dried blood

What about the smell of iron chains in your cell
             can you sing the threnody of the maggots

When I removed my mask did I frighten you
             like a drone crossing your sky

Are you satisfied with your auto insurance

When ecstasy approaches why do you resist
             What are you afraid of
                          Can you please unbutton your shirt now

More Poems by Alicia Ostriker