Subscribe for 17¢ / day
Potetry stockimage

Poetry

I love poems that delightfully offer voices for otherwise mute things, and I like what the following cash register has to say about her life and times. This poem is from Maria Nazos' chapbook, Still Life, from Dancing Girl Press & Studio. For the past two years, Maria has been our graduate assistant at American Life in Poetry, during which time she's had a good deal of success with her own poems, including a recent publication in The New Yorker.

***

This isn't my dream-job. As a young sheet

of steel and plastic I dreamt of being melted

***

down into a dancer's pole in Vegas. I wanted

a woman in a headdress glossy as a gossamer

***

to wrap her lithe limbs around me. I wanted

to be strewn in lights, smell her powdery perfume.

***

Instead I'm a squat box crouched behind the counter,

noticed only if someone robs me. I'm touched all day,

***

but never caressed. Listen: somewhere gold tokens

spew from slots. I want to drink space-alien-dyed martinis on black

***

leather sectional couches. Watch tipsy women with acid-

washed jeans and teased hair dreamily press their faces

***

against slot machines while people treat currency

carelessly as spit in the wind.

***

I'm everywhere you look, ubiquitous and ignored.

I'm the container of your dreams that tossed aside my own.

***

I've kept my clean, sleek lines but you never say a thing.

Feed me, feed me with the only love we know.

Subscribe to Breaking News

* I understand and agree that registration on or use of this site constitutes agreement to its user agreement and privacy policy.

We do not accept unsolicited manuscripts. American Life in Poetry is made possible by The Poetry Foundation (poetryfoundation.org), publisher of Poetry magazine. It is also supported by the Department of English at the University of Nebraska, Lincoln. Poem copyright ©2016 by Maria Nazos, “Cash Register Sings The Blues,” from Still Life, (Dancing Girl Press & Studio, 2016). Poem reprinted by permission of Maria Nazos and the publisher. Introduction copyright ©2017 by The Poetry Foundation. The introduction’s author, Ted Kooser, served as United States Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry to the Library of Congress from 2004-2006.

0
0
0
0
0
You must be logged in to react.
Click any reaction to login.