Home and Garden Television

All summer long I watch HGTV,

though I own neither home

nor garden. My father asks me why

I fill my head with these garbage shows,

with titles like Renovation Raiders,

House Hunters, Flip or Flop but I can’t tell

if it’s my penchant for planning ahead that draws me in

or the alliterative titles. I say you know, I could tell you

how much a seamless slab of granite for your kitchen

island would cost per square foot.


When Chelsea and Eric give me a tour

of their new home, I comment on the jetted soaker tub

in the en suite, the walk-in shower with is that quartz?

it’s so much more elegant than the usual tile, the convenience

of the hidden storage and downstairs half-bath –

both excellent features for resale.


I advise my friends and parents to upgrade

appliances, rearrange floor plans and renovate

to increase value, all the while ignoring the holes

in the walls of the apartment I rent, the paint peeling

away from the plaster in the closet, the faucets

that never seem to stop dripping.


An entire episode of Bath Crashers is dedicated

to a patina finish on a steel vanity, how the silver is

treated with chemicals, heated until a gold-green

drives away all the shine. For weeks after, I see patina

over everything: the knot in the wood

of my parent’s back deck, the crashing Gulf waves,

the cover of my paperback novel, the wings

of a fly I crush beneath my thumb. It glazes my forehead

when I run, coats each slice of deli meat sitting

in my fridge. It’s the varnish layered onto my eyelids,

cheeks, lips, the slicks on sidewalks after every rain,

the oil puddles left in parking lots when I pull away. 


Rochelle Germond recently received her MFA in Poetry from North Carolina State University in Raleigh. Her work has appeared in The Main Street Rag, Third Wednesday, and The Coachella Review, among others. Originally from Florida, she most misses abundant palm trees and lizards, though she is enjoying the fireflies and seasons of her new North Carolina home.