"No one has a milkman anymore."
The milkman is gone. He waved from his ice-sided truck,
tossed me a carton and faded like the ending
of a Samurai film, a hint of blade before black.
The paper boy was next, he went with relief,
wrapped himself in the Sunday Times, crawled
under Harold Denny's manicured boxwood hedge.
Vacuum salesmen died by the dozen. Mothers
took children inside, stared out windows
at the bodies covered with "No Solicitation" signs.
It happened in the cities too. Hot dog vendors
lost their licenses, tossed themselves
in gutters like napkins smeared with ketchup.
On sidewalks, saxophonists were swallowed, locked
in their cases, left on dusty shelves behind
microwave ovens and TVs in pawn shops.
Pizza boys were the last to go. They read mailboxes,
checked maps, drove to gas stations where they left
pizzas, hats and notes to their mothers.