Another Ash Wednesday

In a transformer
world, carpet
tiles are never new
even when they are—

melted thumb
tacks or dog
collars in a former
life. If I could memorize

a color, I wouldn’t need
a sample room
tucked inside
a satchel. If I could match

that patent
leather red with a ceiling
that used to be

a row
of chairs, I wouldn’t want
to reminisce
about those lacquer days.

Mendacity

She could sweat it
out, but it wouldn’t change
the colors, wouldn’t bring
any of them

back. Laughter
doesn’t come easily
for her. She sees
the humor

and the irony
in it all—giggles
on the inside. Does she dare
to read

the Sunday
New York Times
someone left
behind on the table

next to her. Does she dare,
does she dare, does she
dare. One more time

and it could become
a real question
with correct punctuation.