Dr. Huxtable's Roofie Lab
Beware the smiles of kind old men,
the brownstone flipped and paid in cash,
the "Yes we can!" yelled yet again,
the winners of the market crash.
Beware the bleach smell on the walls,
the Google search you never make.
Beware the cars at shopping malls,
the shale oil and the minor quake.
Beware the quivering gelatin,
the sugar added to the mix,
the star who says you're deep in sin,
the oft-suggested bootstrap fix
supposed to lift that rips your shoes
and leaves you prone and on your knees.
Beware the calls to "pay your dues."
Beware the birds, beware the bees.
Beware the laughter that seems taped...
or spliced... or maybe double-tracked.
Beware the well-heeled neighbor aped
by arrivistes, the joke that's cracked
by doctors bearing baby boys,
by fathers checking up on girls.
Beware the grown man with his toys.
Beware the way the cocktail swirls,
keeping the powder thinly spread,
the tang of medicine suppressed.
Beware the lightness in your head.
Beware his smile when he's undressed.
Quincy Lehr's is the author of several collections, most recently Shadows and Gifts (2013) and the book-length poem, Heimat (summer 2014). He lives in Brooklyn, where he teaches history.