Weak-tea sunlight is retreating behind the building
when I arrive home from work. The chain-smoking retiree
in the apartment across from mine waits on the stairs,
invites me to come see what appears to be a cancerous growth
eating away at her kitchen tile. She says the maintenance man
doesn’t know what to make of it. I commiserate and then escape
into the landing, nod to the college professor who dates
a string of enthusiastic lovers. While their orgasmic cries
echo through the air vents, I busy myself washing the dishes
I dirtied fixing dinner for one. I sip my wine and take my pills,
but not too close together. At quarter past three in the morning,
the woman upstairs wakes me. Most evenings, her stiletto heels
click past my locked door. I don’t know where she goes,
but now she is alone, sobbing and calling out for her mother.
M. Stone is a bookworm, birdwatcher, and stargazer who writes poetry while living in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains. Her poems have appeared or are forthcoming in San Pedro River Review, SOFTBLOW, Calamus Journal, and numerous other print and online journals. She can be reached at writermstone.wordpress.com.