William receives a lot of parcels in the mail.
They contain little cars, little engines,
and a little plastic boy carrying a pole and pail.
To his face, the mail lady calls him Bill,
but behind his back she calls him "that old shithead."
She should be kinder; she doesn't know
that when his wife passed, he wished himself dead.
It was the Beverly Hills Express that saved him.
There are trees with lichen leaves,
and a mountain made from papier mache
with a tunnel going through it and
next to that a neatly painted little highway.
Muttering "more crap for this asshole,"
the mail lady arrives with an important addition.
She smiles, he thanks her, and he knows
it is his beautiful plastic lady, arriving in perfect condition.
Bill admires her kick pleat skirt
and her sunny smile which will never fade.
Carefully gluing her feet to the platform,
he offers her his devotion, and a tiny glass of lemonade.
Bless my hobby which has saved my life, he thinks, and bless consistency of scale.
Bill gives his '50s lady a cotton bubble
in which to say anything her heart desires.
What does she say? What do women ever say?
Anyway, they do seem happier talking, and now his town is entire.
She will always stay. Where would she go?
The tracks are circular and end where they began,
so even if she heeds the "all aboard!",
it will always be 1955, in Beverly Hills, and there she'll be again.
for mag 282.