This afternoon, two young men carry furniture
into the kitchen, so they can pry up living
room carpet. They fold to their knees, both
men slipping a tack remover beneath the rug.
Lumps and wrinkles have buckled broadloom
into a woven sea of wool waves.

The blonde, blue-eyed fellow grips an edge,
pulls the rug toward baseboard. The other guy,
chestnut hair and smooth-cheeked, waits
to be told what to do next, then pulls slack
toward himself, restoring the carpet
to its proper shape.

Chestnut hair slips tools into a metal box, snaps
the lid shut. The blond hands me an invoice.
They trot outside to a blue van with Richard’s
Carpet Service stenciled on the side.
With sunlight glinting from its roof, the van
rolls to the street, disappears in a single turn.

Several minutes after they have gone, I stare
at the carpet, its adjusted surface. For a long
while, I slouch in a green, overstuffed chair
deeply appreciative of self-assured men
who work together to flatten carpet,
men who sat on their heels to assess the next move
and saw me admiring them. Too timid to touch
their conversation, I flirted with the almost
carnal push of their palms across raised nap
that finally began to hug the floor perfectly.