Fixer-Upper

Poem by Bob Sykora


You said HGTV
is your football. Rage,
rage against perfect blond
couples picking fucking
terrible
backsplashes,
the same way my father
screams Are you kidding me?
whenever the Trojans score.
You said of course
it’s terrible
, but
on the couch with me
on a Sunday in January,
a gentle snow growing
outside while unstylish
rich couples bicker
through un-ac-ceptable
green tile and purple paint
and gigantic decorative clocks,
you can forget everything
for a while. You click
mute and turn sternly
as the next perfect couple
browses short sales in Buffalo.
We could afford that.
Like, right now.
The cat
lodges herself between us
as we criticize their choices,
the way they effortlessly
ruin a Victorian. The snow
picks up outside,
the neighbors squeal
over a touchdown,
and a home in Buffalo
we’ll never own buries
its head deeper, gray little
hands scurrying through
the snow. Without making
a sound, it disappears.

BOB SYKORA is the author of the chapbook “I Was Talking About Love–You Are Talking About Geography” (Nostrovia! 2016). A recent graduate of the UMass Boston MFA program, he serves as a poetry reader for Split Lip Mag. This piece was previously published on The Shallow Ends.