by Zachary Michael Jack

Newlyweds: every night squatters 
at our door, soliciting

something new: stick
of butter, spot of milk, screw driver.

They’re so cute together; sometimes,
they look like twins, batteries not included.  

“Never believe labels,” we tell them.
“Use everything you have…twice. Be frugal, please

call us if you need anything.”
Next night: they do, say 

What was that pee-in-place-
-of-battery-acid trick again?

Could they borrow the Morton 
salt shaker I swapped in as a pawn

to checkmate the boy genius across the complex? 
Put the kid in his place, I say. Glory days! 

They’re here again, so sweet
we can’t refuse them: 

My broad back for their petition
signings; my Love’s strong hands for their 

late-night peanut butter jar openings, both
our big toes for a makeshift handy-man
doorstop, once, my left foot 
to model their new mail-order thongs. 

“What’s ours is yours,” we say, always and kindly
offering them a chair. 


Zachary Michael Jack is the author of many books on the power of place, including, most recently, The Haunt of Home: A Journey through America's Heartland.