Editor’s Note: Jake Orbison was a semi-finalist
for the 2019 
Boston Review Annual Poetry Contest.

The light begins its dutiful patrol of the street.
          It breaks into homes without a word,
easing the bodies out of their dispossession.
          Now we’re on a mission—to show coffee
drinkers it’s time to wake up—with Keurig.
          No matter how you make it—no matter
what size, shape, or color—make today count.
          No matter what the songbirds say,
every day can be a special day. And if it seems
          they are always singing the same song,
trust whatever small innovations they’ve made
          only they can hear. They cheer you along
your morning walk through the botanical gardens,
          Tracy Towers hovering above, like fears
of the trees. See how simple the process
          can be: select latte with one touch.
Make sure you have secured your favorite
          flavor capsule into place, and filled
the aerolatte frother to the desired level—
          careful not to overemphasize the milk.
Your mother bought one for your grandmother.
          She uses it as a kettle. Everything happens
faster now, she says. Even boiling water.
          Her mother, when they arrived here,
got a job in a factory sewing together the petals
          of artificial flowers. Her father sorted
skins and furs by color for a coat manufacturer.
          But—she always reminds you—like
your uncle, like your brother, he was colorblind.
          That’s why he was so good at it, see?
The colors themselves could not distract him
          from their contrast, the lighter and the darker.
She practiced English in her diary on the way
          here. We left Germany and Europe, it says.
I am sad about it. We are traveling 15 of us
          on the Portuguese cargo ship Motomar.
We are on the ocean and we are in the huge storm.
           The captain forbids us to leave the cabins.
My mom has been green seasick for 17 days.
          Then the ship docked. The war won.
Their skin returned again to a normal color.
          Later, she became a language teacher.
Her daughter, your mother, is a lawyer, and you
           a historian of corporate marketing techniques.
But of course the market is no more a tradition
          than death is a tradition, atavistic, cyclical.
A certain pride in colorblindness runs in the family,
         as the family business is still sorting the hides.

Putting odd likenesses together to state
          a kind, a whole, no matter what shape, size, 
or color. Tobacco, rum, gunpowder, gold.
          Customizable features can make it your own.
Enjoy 400 varieties from 60 brands you know
          and love, all with the Keurig quality guarantee.
This town counts on your cup. That’s why
          we pour a portion of every purchase back
into our growing communities. So go on.
          Brew the love. So smart. So simple. So Keurig.
Are you ready? Like totally ready?
          Now picture this. You’re on your hustle,
you’re on your grind—coder, mom, caterer—
          whatever occupies your time, until
one day you find yourself face-to-face
          with the person who might change your life
And your business. Your new boss.
          Your new wife. Every choice has been
in preparation of this one moment.
          The elevator door splits at its center,
like, goodbye tough decisions, hello
          revelation. That is the power, flawless-
ness, and ease of a future rightfully
          and ruthlessly yours. Forget about
your floor. Now you’re getting off at
          the life you deserve. You are so ready.
But is your mouth ready? Most ordinary
          toothpastes can only whiten the surface
of the tooth, but Colgate Total does
          more for the entire oral environment.
Because our formula goes behind
          the scenes, beyond the teeth, to focus
on the root causes of your smile.
          Why should it be so difficult to enjoy
those certain pleasures that bring our
          communities and corporations together?
The stoop outside the brownstone
          your dad owns, dressing up for Halloween,
a few loose jokes between old friends,
          craving certain skin like heavily salted
caramel, wine dark eyes, notes of rose,
          the morning coffee, even the afternoon
square. The everyday ecstasies of self-
          care, squeezing glistening from a tube;
tingling fresh, fresh as ice, the rush
          you get when you brush twice with Total
Confidence, a whiteness that surpasses
          the surface, the endless white of bone.
Our philosophy affirms no toothpaste
          ever actually ends, each tube an infinity
unto itself, no matter how emaciated,
          how past due. Always there is more
use to be squeezed out of the plastic
          onto the bristles. Bright smiles, Brighter
Futures. Your future smile is here.
          This is the future of smiles. Smile, the future
Is here. Now there’s no such thing as
          too close. Total confidence. Total Control.
Pay what it costs. You’re worth it.