Austin Hummell

Gladys Kravitz

She ran the word slut out of the gypsy camp
of her vocabulary. Learned to stifle her sneezes,
both the air expelled at one hundred miles an hour

and the five thousand droplets of snot
she pushes down the tube in her
that in horses is four hands high. Course

her ears are bad. Of course her eye suspects his wife
owns a darkness with a hat in it
and that’s why she’s on her knees

in an apron. Why he married her,
with her xylophone nose and  her cute
cute doorbell nod. The sweet are willing

and the willing are sweet. The thing about Gladys
Kravitz is you have to forgiver her.
Her husband is the kind of man happy
to live in the cellar with the Los Angeles Dodgers.
She can’t even say  Fernando Valenzuela.
She didn’t know you could swear and
be happy.

Her best television is the window
the day the neighbors move away.
The day the neighbors moved in
was another such day.