"Kitchenette Building" by Gwendolyn Brooks (1917-2000)
1. We are things of dry hours and the involuntary plan,
2. Grayed in, and gray. “Dream” makes a giddy sound, not strong
3. Like “rent,” “feeding a wife,” “satisfying a man.”
4. But could a dream send up through onion fumes
5. Its white and violet, fight with fried potatoes
6. And yesterday’s garbage ripening in the hall,
7. Flutter, or sing an aria down these rooms
8. Even if we were willing to let it in,
9. Had time to warm it, keep it very clean,
10. Anticipate a message, let it begin?
11. We wonder. But not well! not for a minute!
12. Since Number Five is out of the bathroom now,
13. We think of lukewarm water, hope to get in it.
Brooks, Gwendolyn. "Kitchenette Building." Poetry Foundation. Poetry Foundation, n.d. Web. 16 June 2016.
In line 12, “Number Five” refers to