"Back Apartment" by Ryan Quinn Flanagan
When you live in the back apartment
you exist behind everything:
the times, the foot traffic, the banker’s hours
that are never your hours.
Walking to work at 4:30 in the morning.
A yellow lunch bag tucked under your arm.
Only the purple newspaper van out dropping its load.
The blinking of traffic lights
and skunks with juice jars on their heads
slamming across the road.
A back stairwell you brave
on the way home
that could falter at
Over the alley the bag lady
with a cart full of men’s dress shoes
Slapping her own face
and cursing the many hydro wires