My parsimonious landlord,
I appeal to your better angels –
send up more heat!
We’re as cold as Hamlet’s
bitter business.
It’s colder than iron,
than Balzac’s icy crypt.
Winter has crept among us
and stolen our breaths
and you’ve a lock on the furnace.
We’re shaking in our skins
and you’re measuring coal
in teaspoons and scruples.
Our rent is paid in full
but you’re as cheap as dirt.
We’re burning furniture
and our old clothes,
the temperature dropping
like the glances of the shamed.
We’re told that Spring is coming,
if we should linger through Winter.
We’re warned that sinners burn
in the fires of their passion.