If fences were streets and streets were fences

the city would be a city. Its people
would know exactly where they were
allowed to go and not
worry about what went on on
the other sides of streets and fences.

If doors were windows and windows doors,
visitors would be voyeurs
and voyeurs visitors.
Former window washers would fall
on hard times. Broke brokers would walk
out of 50th floor doors
and end it all.

If in were out and out were in,
parks would be carpeted, drywalled and wallpapered.
Living rooms would grow vineyards
and by star, moon, and flashlight
we would make love between
bedposts made from goalposts
while trees press against the window-doors
to glimpse their air-conditioned sun.

Window bells and window mats,
fence signs and fence lights,
door shades to keep the universe
from peeking out – all this change
until one day a ball
is accidentally thrown
over the indoor street,
as if doors and windows
were eyes and mouths
gaping and gawking.

If the houses were people
and people houses
stunned askew while the roof
bounced the ball back,
they never said a word
to keep distance near
for lack of peacekeeping weapons.

featured art: West Concentric Estates by Ross Racine.

Image used with permission from the artist.

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