Landlord
by Michael Keshigian


The tenants left him a bar of soap,
two rolls of toilet paper,
shredded paper towels,
and a ripped sponge mop with bucket.
He tried to rub the white wall clean,
discovered it impossible,
realized they tried as well.
He decided to paint it over.

Hair choked the bathroom sink,
long hairs, male and female,
they both wore ponytails,
short of acid, nothing else would work.
The hardwood floor
wore rubber scuffs and high heel turns,
no doubt they danced and laughed,
but only broom swept it clean.

He began to know who they were,
seldom did he speak to them,
the check always arrived in the mail.
They breezed through, a great wind,
leaving behind a trail of dirt,
a thank you of sorts,
the residual continuity of broken leases
and painstaking interviews.

He seized their soap,
a green veined, marbled bar,
curved like a woman,
took a bath
after he cleaned the tub,
and dried with no towel,
in the air
with the walls and floors.






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