We arrived in the middle of a convention
Of offenses. “Excuse me,” someone said,
“That’s my mattress,
If you don’t mind.”
The slight was unintended, but it stuck.
“If you’re truly offensive, you don’t care
What day it is,” a woman says from the dais.
She’d been on the dais all day,
Her white eyeballs
Glaring in the spotlight.
We listened and were silent little bodies,
Thinking of the fine breeze
That had followed us most of the way there.
Soon each of us thought of many offenses.
Like when someone said to me,
“Around here we put toasters on little girls’ heads
To stop them from growing.”
“Of my days at sea,” one of us said,
“What shocked me most was the exceedingly casual way
In which some craft loafed about the broad Atlantic.”
We decided we’d had enough
Of dripping peaceably, as the streets filled
With the umbrellas of our rivals.