This Stranger Having Departed Without Any One Suspecting It
Ever since Joe Busick retired
by Charles Chaim Wax
he leaves the door to his apartment wide open
so that when I pass in front of it
to get to my place he rushes into the hall
and starts to speak
about three pairs of new shoes
he bought in an Italian shoe store
or the upcoming surgery on his left eye
to fix a cataract
or the person below trying to get him evicted
because he flushes the toilet
too many times, twelve I’ve been told,
always in rapid succession
or asks read any good books because he’s seen
my walls lined with them
from floor to ceiling
although his place doesn’t have a single one,
also no pictures,
the walls painted salmon pink.
I’ve never seen a soul enter his apartment.
Some days he actually sits in the hallway
waiting for words to happen.
He dyes his hair a reddish brown.
Four years ago a woman living in a private house
across the street accused him of masturbating
in front of his window, shades up.
The TV stays on all day now
played much too loudly
except when the door is open
or he’s perched in the hall.