The North End

The night is clearing over these old old houses
that seem like they will never be bought or sold again
square, flat roofs, bright lego bricks,
small windows like fisheyes,
kitchen lights, white metal appliances,
tables messy with papers, bills and newsprint,
always signs of living, but never people,
televisions blinking commercials
over the hockey game, across bricked-in fireplaces,
heavy-painted mantels, picture frames sized to clutter,
art generic but tasteful,
circle mouldings on high ceilings
for chandeliers that don’t work,
wood-slatted shades on window ledges,
the bottom half of the panes cut from prying eyes,
my eyes, forcing me to imagine the golden retriever,
lumbering, shaggy, shedding
on the cheap but comfortable furniture
no one walks him, no one comes or goes,
no car out front, no lawn, trees uprooting the sidewalk,
dark wooden mailboxes match handmade house numbers,
the leaves get raked, garbage bins appear and disappear,
lights off at appropriate hours,
but I don’t believe anyone lives there,
maybe they’re rich and travel, maybe it’s a ruse,
a ploy by real-estate agents, big banks,
so I will want a mortgage
so I will want to move right in
so I will want to disappear.

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