Neighbors like good neighbors
Like friendly fascists
And benevolent xenophobes
Like flying flags
Like showing off their debt
In the various shapes of newness
Something bright, uplifting

Neighbors like neighbors that speak
Not too little, not too much,
That speak using
Flags and Signs
Which side they’re on
How right they are
Which doctor
Gives good prescription
And how the moral high ground
Leads to their cul de sac

Neighbors like neighbors that look like them
Dressed up in their jobs
And football
And beer
And the block party
And the block watch
And the seasonal decorations
Put up promptly
And taken down with equal diligence
And timeliness

Neighbors like good neighbors
Who are modest but not wimpy
Who don’t climb too high
Because status shouldn’t come easy
And competition is break-neck
Like don’t turn your back
Like I deserve this more
Than that bum
Like some people have all the luck
Like I’d die if no one was around
To admire my flag
And sign
And spouse
To admire
My mower
And blower
And lawn free of gopher

A neighborhood in theory
A neighborhood only in name
Neighborly neighbor
Right up to your easements
Then all bets are off

Neighbors like consistency
Like tried and true
50 stars and 2 cars
I cleaned my gun
I cleaned my gutters
I cleaned the garage
Like what did we ever do without
All this stuff
Brand names and oak frames
Like dependable servants in golf carts patrolling
Looking and watching and acting tough
Like full service detailing
High polished railing
To pen them in
To contain their concerns
You get what you earn
Paint rollers and overstuffed strollers
For the win


Not equal

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