Apartment Living Example #73


We are not alone in this world you or I.

You know how I know?

Every morning

The man downstairs

Smokes his cigarette

and its acrid plume rises up

through the cracks in the deck

and wafts through my open window

opened to let in fresh morning air

And disturbs my morning reverie

Like an Incorrigible setting fire

To a dry-docked houseboat.

For awhile

I mistook his smoke-garbled talk for Spanish

Until the other evening

When having not learned my lesson

From earlier in the day

And hoping to “freshen up”

For your visit

I opened my window again

Against the faintest of early 21st century hope

To draw in fresh evening air.

His tobacco-stained voice chased

His unwelcomed exhalations

Up the flight into my place.

We both stopped eating dinner,

Forks paused in mid-shovel,

Hungry mouths in rictuses of distracted concentration,

Nostrils flaring,

Heads tilted towards the foreign emanations from below.

“I’m sorry,” apologizing as I am wont to do

For things that have nothing to do with me.

“That’s Portuguese,” you said assuredly.

And for once, once again,

I was glad not to be alone in the world.


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