Richard D. Allen


By dusk apartment words are blowing in,
fat children screaming for more food, and men
advancing unromantically upon
the aunts and mothers of the fat children,
loudly abetted by the radio.
The moon advances.

                                           Green veins glow
within a kicked pane. Trash crawls back across
the paint-inscribed sidewalk and yellow grass,
squatting at doorsteps, trying to get home,
get warm. This morning workmen knelt
before our water heater, drew its flame
out of an acrid chamber, as we built
our bed, put down its slats, stood its black frame.


We thought our apartment was in one neighborhood, not knowing where one neighborhood started and where another ended, nor the enormous significance of such distinctions to certain people.