We are not alone in this world you or I.
You know how I know?
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.
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,
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.