by Curtis Graham


A man in his forties

Comes to see my apartment

Today, to see if he wants to

Live here when I am gone.

He squirrels in place

In his black sneakers and

White socks. He tugs the

Belly of his untucked work polo.


He looks around and says,

Plenty of room here.

I mean you don’t need much stuff.

You really don’t. I mean,

What do I have at home. A TV stand.

Couple dressers, right. Bed.

What more do you need.


We talk about leaks

And a painting hanging on

My wall. He stuffs his hands

Deep inside his pockets,

Halfway up the arms. He leans weight

On either foot and talks to me.


Shit, plenty of room here.

More than my studio.

I don’t have much, especially

After the divorce. Ha ha. Ha.

You know, half’s gone, but really–

People says to me, Hey Bill

Why don’t you get a table so you can

Eat in the kitchen, and I says

When am I ever not eating

In front of the TV. Right?

Never, that’s when. You don’t

Need a table. It’s like I said.


He looks around the space.

Beige matted carpets,

Spackled ceiling

Cracked with leaks, peeling in swaths

Like snakeskin.

Tiny black mold flowers growing

On the sills. The screams of pumps

And boilers behind thin walls.


It’s like I said. He shakes my hand.

What more do you need.