kitchenette building

We are things of dry hours and the involuntary plan,

Grayed in, and gray. “Dream” makes a giddy sound, not strong

Like “rent,” “feeding a wife,” “satisfying a man.”


But could a dream send up through onion fumes

Its white and violet, fight with fried potatoes

And yesterday’s garbage ripening in the hall,

Flutter, or sing an aria down these rooms


Even if we were willing to let it in,

Had time to warm it, keep it very clean,

Anticipate a message, let it begin?


We wonder. But not well! not for a minute!

Since Number Five is out of the bathroom now,

We think of lukewarm water, hope to get in it.

Bibliographical info

Gwendolyn Brooks, "kitchenette building" © Gwendolyn Brooks 1945. Reprinted by consent of Brooks Permissions.

Source: kitchenette building (A Street In Bronzeville, A Library of America E-Book Classic, Penguin Random House Canada)

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