Love Poem in the Style of Jordan’s Furniture

Kendra DeColo

Sometimes I sing New England furniture commercial jingles

to my husband so that he might understand me better,

the ones where Boston accents reverberate

like moans in an empty church,

amniotic and relentless, sedating the ear

with elongated vowels like “COME ON

DOWN” and “I DOUBT IT,” blunt

anthems we’d recite as kids

until some adult would scoff, “They can’t learn

math but they can remember this” and today

while singing one of those songs

to my daughter before bed I felt so American

it hurt, like wandering pickle-deep

in the condiment aisles at Costco, half distracted

by someone asking what kind of meatball

I’d like while YouTube footage

of a Nazi getting punched in the face unfurls

across my phone’s screen, his smirk

a sick apology, and I watch it again

beside the mayonnaise jars that are waiting to be snapped up

by doomsday preppers where they will glow

like engorged lanterns

in the basements of musty imaginations —

enough mayonnaise to last through the apocalypse,

not real nourishment but a temporary fix —

not real justice but close enough to feel

like I’m flashing my heart to everyone

in the superstore, asking them to hold it

for just a moment, place the fat joy

of it into their mouths,

the way I ask my husband to hold

this gilded bluster and sprawl

of a busted dialect, a language jagged

as rocks like odes to all of the things

I never learned, which might be the most American

thing about me,

loving what should make me feel ashamed,

filled with unimpeachable pride.


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