- The Superintendents
From the sidewalk I see the bathroom window’s open in your still-empty apartment at 19 Wendell Street. That tells me the super lit the pilot light on the stove, as you requested, and let in fresh air. But also that he hasn’t yet replaced the torn screen on the kitchen window or he’d have opened that instead. All this I deduce before even going up the three flights to walk over your shiny floors, arrange your phantom furniture where I think it should go. Likewise, when the super returns with the replacement screen, and maybe the welcome package of chocolates and movie passes that the management promised, he’ll detect my traces: [End Page 97] a drawn-up window shade, as I assessed the light coming in to apartment 12, hall closet—good and deep for storage— its door left slightly ajar. [End Page 98]
Susan Donnelly is the author of the poetry collections Transit and Eve Names the Animals as well as three chapbooks. A third collection, Capture the Flag, will be published by Iris Press. Her publication credits include Poetry, the American Scholar, the New York Times, and the New Yorker.