In my living room, I have a painting of my living room.

I once got as far as the kitchen of the wrong house.

My wife refuses to call herself an artist which means
her paintings are nobody’s business. The one
of the living room was done by someone else.

I have nagging suspicions I’ve yet to discover.

The most popular street name in America is Park.
The second is Second. After that it’s mostly trees
and presidents. The fear of crossing a street has three
different names. I wrote this lying down in a driveway.

When I look at a star, any star, I remember no blade
of grass can keep me here.

My car came with maps to the rest of the country.
Every morning the windshield bears the prints
of some small predator. I look through them
driving to work.

To the best of my recollection I’ve never fallen asleep.

Today as I pulled up to my house, a man got in the back
and gave me an address. When I told him I wasn’t a taxi,
he apologized and got out. I pulled away again and drove

My wife sleeps like a professional artist.

I’ve been accused of bias toward robots.

My most frequent dream is about losing my car and then
my clothes. I must search for them naked, all the time
hiding from help. It ends in a park the size of my life.

It’s the second page and this poem has a home, a wife,
a car and a job. In the coming months, it will grow
uneasy about its advantages.

My wife is painting a painting already painted.

If this were a children’s song, someone would be trapped
inside it as a warning.

In the future, our homes will be inside us.
We’ll fill the rooms with art and strangers.

This poem is dedicated to Beyond Baroque Literary Arts Center, which commissioned this poem for a performance in 2018. This is its first appearance in print.

Brendan Constantine is the author of numerous collections of poetry and his work has appeared in many standards, including Poetry, The Nation, Best American Poetry, Tin House and Poem a Day. Since 2017 he’s been working with speech pathologists across the country to develop poetry workshops for people with Aphasia and Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBI).