On Graydon

It was the year we found the apartment
a block away from the church— The bits
of communion made of fresh baked bread, wheat
that warmed the famished tongue. Mrs. G,

the landlady, opened the door with a brass key she took
from a chain in her duster pocket. What is your job,
she asked. Door after door, the ritual of opening. Behind one,
a claw-footed tub. Radiators that hummed through thicknesses

of paint. We took the first floor unit on the right.
Across us, a couple who liked to smoke on their balcony
ringed with potted plants. He liked to toss
his cigarette butts over the railing.

At dusk we saw Mrs. G come down
to the sidewalk— She picked up each stub,
past smolder, and aimed. We wondered if they
ever noticed the grimy squares at their feet.

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