Ian Randall Wilson The 2River View, 6.2 (Winter 2002)

Life on the Alley

—For D.L.S.

Oh the glory of closed shutters
and speakers that block all noise.
The cats are pacing.
Someone has parked beneath the window
filling the room
with the sweet vapor of exhaust.

Meats don’t last in this apartment.
Lettuce sweats.
Brown rice takes longer to cook
as if at altitude.
I’ve emptied out the crawl space
though the ants are back
in a column from the sugar to the door.
They move with the ceaseless motion of a heart.
They exhaust me.

I turn on the fan and watch its white spin.
I promise I’ll find a way
to bring you to my hands
where you’ll encounter
a space heater of good will.
We’ll have that much
of a life together,
and no hard bread.

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2River All is well.