They live on the street side of the building,
we live on the back side. They hear duets of men
and smoke, we hear birds chirp
and cover a fridge with pictures.
They shave each other’s heads
and take pills, we climb into blankets
and collect fur. He plays the drums,
she charcoals, I pick at the paint
on the walls. They hang
their clothes in the alley. We hang
drapes. We’re usually tipsy
on red wine. They drink two whiskeys
neat. I see a shore
of white skin on her back when she lifts
her arms. I see her wolf eyes and blackberry
lips. I see his skateboard,
a sandpaper tongue. A bell
rings in the afternoon. We lift our heads.
-- Joan Biddle
"Apartment" originally appeared in The Country Dog Review.