Down hallways draped
Littered ochre with paper
and the hanging stench of
Old water

A green maze grid
Of rippling wall paper
And wires limp and dead
Forgotten like cobwebs

Each smack of the sole
Muffled dull by
Carpeting scuffed out
Peeled to the fiber weave

Doors repeat like a bad
Picture show scratched
And muddy; their
Heat blisters marring

Lucky enough to have
All the slices of light
A cut hatch pattern
From the boarded windows

Bounding and heaving
each staircase a link
to this folding deck tenement
counting floors like cards


All my fervent steps
Catch me halted and
Beat a rapid tattoo.
Sweat beads make a necklace.

A lit pane but no
Motion just numbers
And a quiet to raise
Concern and relief

The knob spins a click
I am in and what is mine
Sat neatly on a desk top
Only waiting.

Countless years in
Dodging pursuit of
What had been taken;
Thieved in villainy

Walking slow uneasy
No visible company
My hand closed on
The parcel stolen


A hinge whines
A lock clasps
My skin goes to glass
A barrel sets; my eyes lock

“Hello, Stella.”


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