Popular Mechanics

Hey, Mr. Fallible-Vulnerable Human Being™ Repairman

I'm not working.

I'm not functioning as I should, as guaranteed by your limited warranty stipulations

So, I called your company repair hotline and set up an appointment,

and I've been trapped inside for years waiting for you to arrive to

fix me, sometime between the hours of 4 and 9

Make haste, Mr. Repairman

my domestic problems are many and mysterious


My faucet's sprung a leak that turns to a fountain with a touch or a word

Water's bursting through my walls and threatening to drown us all,

or else sweep away indiscriminately

I cannot cleanse my dirty dishes or my dirty clothes,

any spin cycle spins my head into dizzy, dusty oblivion

(though God knows there's enough water)

My stereo is stuck like a broken record of old, playing one sentimental love song, until I am sure that "All I need is…"

that this saccharine ballad doesn't apply to me at all

There are holes in my windows and my doors either slam or squeak

or swing in the breeze

all the winter weather and the wilderness and the children's baseballs…

all the photo albums, central heating, private anguished screaming

anything that wants its way in or out can go as they please through the scabless holes from where the wild beast ran through the kitchen screen door last summer, scattering headless roses on the scalped lawn

The fire alarm wakes me up every night, like a wailing, pathetic little child

who won't let anyone rest until she's had her tantrum and had it relieved

and then I'm covered in flames of blue eyeshadow and lipstick, drenched and

saturated with foam and still on fire

The empty house falls in on itself, in on despair

while I stand on the trembling stair and wait


for you and your expertise, for you will be there

with your wrench and your screws and your sound, apathetic service.

And when you come, I will ask:

"Who can I call to order spare parts?"

"And between you and me, Mr. Fallible-Vulnerable Human Being™ Repairman, what exactly is it that is broken?"

And most importantly, "What will it cost to fix it?"