The Landlord

April 29, 2010

In my sixteenth year,
I made the decision to hand over
The large and long
Rusted keys to myself
And have someone stay in the wet,
Ruby red room for rent.
I cleaned the plaster walls and
Scrubbed the single window so
The light could get in at last.

My first tenant was
A bright-eyed nude
Who saw more of me than
I thought there was to show.
I painted her in a
Still-life villanelle
And hung it by the window
So she knew that I meant it.
We had a good run, but in
The end
She found better lodgings
Elsewhere (rightfully so).

Months trickled by.
My second tenant,
A full-flavored poetess,
Arrived like a whirlwind.
She was an artful romantic,
But after a few months she
Decided my room wasn’t
Her type;
But at least she was kind
When she said farewell.

Winter came twice before
I had another knock at my door.
The arrival of a freckled menace,
Willfully lonely, she still tries to
Poke her head in every once
In a red moon.

It wasn’t long before I noticed
The next one waiting, silently.
A bespectacled traveler, she was
Torn in two but sewn back together
So that I could see beneath her
Button nose the stitches on her face.
I invited her to stay, but she had
Already gone
Off to where she belonged
In the first place.

And then last summer,
I realized what had happened,
And my renters took so much
That the walls were scuffed and
Bruised, the window broken.
As I stooped to begin the
Task of cleaning my room,
A two-toned calico crept in
Through the shattered remains
Of the window panes.
She looked at me curiously, and
I recognized the feeling deep in
Her eyes; she had been here before.
Night after night, tapping softly
On the hazy surface of the glass.
Now she was in, and nuzzled her
Face into the side of my neck.
I felt like I had found something
I had forgotten to look for
Within those lovely green eyes.

MSBQ

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Cheshire

February 2, 2009

a devilish grin
violet stripes run
across my back
the most elusive
disappearing act
a bushy tail hides
my yellow eyes
from your penetrating
stares, truly I am
a mad creature
as you can see
I am simply
not all
there

MSBQ