Monday, August 29, 2016

Consumer Satisfaction Guaranteed

Here's a poem I wrote several years ago when I had a bunch of stuff going on in my life. As opposed to all the stuff going on now. Different stuff. I thought: here's a new and different metaphor. I read it several years later and was like, "hmm...this is kinda weird. But, hey, we all have those moments. I figure it's not just about sharing our most spectacular moments. So...enjoy. Or scratch your head and go, what? Or maybe it could be used a an air freshener advertisement. 


Consumer Satisfaction Guaranteed

He wasn’t looking for me.
He found me purely by circumstance While out killing time,
Drowning out the buzzing in his mind.


I caught his eye from my place on the shelf.
The frenzy of vibrant colors
That decorated my box made him pause,
Made him yearn for a passion that had long escaped him. So he took my sugar-coated cardboard box in his hand And pulled his wallet out at the check-stand.

He took me home, freed me from my box
And tossed away my novel-length factory warranty: Consumer Satisfaction guaranteed,
Or your money back.


He placed me on the mantel above the fireplace In an apartment too gray to truly call home. He’d become so used to the stale air of despair That when he activated my switch
The scent of pumpkin I released before his waiting nostrils
Took him by surprise, made his mouth water with the taste of pie And the memory of a time when he had a place to call home.


The next time he gently pressed my button,
Every infinitesimal line and crack
In his fingertips became embedded in my core.
I absorbed every haunting heartache he’d ever felt. In return I surrounded him with lavender:
Flowers in a field and sunshine on his back;
The tranquility of a nap in freshly mowed grass.


The palm of his hand cupped itself around
The soft layer of plastic that must be my skin.
I felt within me his life-line:
The strain of each breath of oxygen on his soul. I felt his heart-line: the pain of each beat.
So I gifted him with the sweet whiff
Of cotton candy and caramel corn

On a warm summer’s night:
The simple pleasure of a sugar rush Shared over the laughter of friendship.


Tears dripped from eyes that had seen too much, Drenching me in his never-ending
Pilgrimage of heartache and misery.
His pain ripped from my core the flavors of love: The mouthwatering scent of strawberries,

A tantalizing taste on the tongue Along with a sweetly seductive Hint of vanilla lingering on the Soft skin of another.

It was then that I knew I must be
The new and improved model.
I must be more than a product
Made in China designed to freshen one’s home. This soft material in my center

Covered in shiny glitzy plastic must be a heart, For it has swelled with every spritz of peace
I’ve given him; every tear I’ve dried from his eyes.


I’ve fulfilled more than the promises typed neatly on my box. I’ve freshened more than his home.
But now his touch is lighter:
An afterthought rather than a need

To fill his soul with bouquets. His tears are no more.

His breath comes in short spurts that can only be laughter. His awakened soul now freshens his home.


Dust collects on the thin layer of plastic that covers my aching heart. I deteriorate inside as I contemplate breaking my promise,
As I ponder ceasing my duty in order to protect myself
From what I’m not supposed to feel.

Whenever he leaves the window open,
I imagine letting the exhaust-polluted breeze Carry me away into oblivion.


But such musings are prohibited by my warranty. If I don’t fulfill my duty,
He gets his money back.
So still I sit, perched upon the fireplace

Waiting for him to have need of me. For that is the promise on my fine print. 

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