*bold terms from U.S. Census Bureau Glossary

Anna Vilhauer

You were my year of entry.
You broke in,
Sending cracks through the foundation of my manufactured home
You wanted a piece of my goods, in large gross shipments
I became an object of occasional use,
An occupied housing unit of little value

Your fingers were my highways, your breath my heating system
I was more like a crawlspace for you,
I realized too late I didn’t have the capacity
I never saw the warning message
You pierced me with astounding accuracy, as if you had done it before

You never return addressed your letters with my ZIP Code
Nobody told me I needed fire protection from you
You are the birthplace of my basement
The urbanization from an unrelated individual you never wanted

Because of you, I live in poverty, I couldn’t afford the price asked
You are my nonguaranteed debt,
I paid dearly for you, but nothing was promised
I was your dumping ground, who knew the death rate would be so high
Sanitation sanitation sanitation

Would you ever have told me what kind of business you were in?
The only thing you taught me was how to be a leased department
Did you meet your quota? Was my quantity sufficient?
My transit was your trade area, I became a degraded wasteland

Your efficiencies employed me, but only while you were around
I ran this race alone
Ignored the most inactive members
Obsessed with the journey to work

Now I am a vacant housing unit, my value nonexistent
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