who is sleeping in my old bedroom

history is a matter of elbow room.
the thin walls of the house on grant avenue 
revealed everything about its inhabitants.
sometimes, i would put an ear
to the wall right in front of my closet
& listen to the future. 
i have nothing much to report.
the microwave had knuckles & the basement 
told half stories of discarded sweaters 
& a warped star-painted canvas.
the window faced a square of grey sky
& a construction vehicle elegized 
the slice of road it was cutting into. 
in that town everything
was in the process of leaving.
a storefront shucked its face
for another. after me, rachel lived
in my bedroom & she put her bed
where my desk used to be. the window
shrunk in size to accommodate
an unknown variable. little tac holes 
dwelled where i'd pasted my posters.
i liked the floor there. it was unnaturally 
smooth. you could roll anything
across it: an eyeball, a wheel,
a planet. what did she keep in the closet?
are my old coat hangers still there
waiting like train passengers,
hands gripping the long eternal 
metal bar? whoever is there now,
where have they placed their bed?
when they step outside into the cool 
wintering new york, which direction 
do they follow the sidewalk?
is the window any smaller?
what i miss most is 
the postage stamp of a yard. 
just a thumb's worth of grass. i never
sat there but i should have.
instead i just peered at it.
watched the blades grow tall 
& short tall & short. browning
in january. muddied with melting snow.  

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