My landlord is dying.
She lives in the room next to mine.
Sometimes I wake to her husband
asking her questions like
do you want to end it
you’re wearing me out.
Only once I saw inside their place. It looked full.
The bed was near the door.
As we talked, I thought of their exchanges
passing in and out of my sleep.
This morning I waited a long time
for the cars from both sides
to finish their passing
and I crossed my street.
I sat down on a bench
in Luther A. Clark Memorial Chapel.
The chapel is a patch of grass
between the road and the locked cemetery.
The fence billows out where the steel is bent
by some kind of pressure
built over time.
The bushes are carved flat
and they look weak near the ground
where their thin, peeling branches are exposed.
There is a ragged teal pine
alone near the center,
exhaust in the air.
A dark blue tarp
tied over a roof on the block,
another opened and black from a fire.
And there are buds on the tree
over this grave.
The day before she died was exceptionally sunny.
One could imagine a kind of law.
A bare sky and heat.
She sat on our porch
while I vacuumed.