The Apartment

It is long past midnight
I watch an extremely fast cockroach
Racing around on the wall.

I lie to myself
Thinking that there is just this one cockroach
Here in the house, he just gets around a lot,
Is what I think.

I must admit, though the place has character
Bed sheets serve as shades.
There is no furniture.
I sleep on the floor.

People tell me I got a good deal.
The rent is cheap and the owner is extremely nice.
I am inclined to agree with them.
Yet I wonder what the cockroach thinks.

Don’t get me wrong, I like bugs.
I just don’t want to compete with them for dinner.
Or eat one by mistake.
Although I’m probably over reacting
There are four other apartments in this building.
And I don’t hear them complaining.

In fact, I don’t hear much at all from them.
This inclines me to think that I live with zombies.
And just in case, I keep a flashlight on the floor.
I hear dead things are afraid of fire.
I think I will buy some stick matches.

You can really freak yourself out in the dark.
There is this long empty closet right where I rest my feet.
I fear some demonic creature from hell will grab me by the toes
Drag me off into the closet, and there, feast on me
With razor sharp teeth and needle fingers.

There is one good thing though, I do have electricity.
I run the fan and give myself light.
I think having it turned on was a good decision on my part.
Verily, Verily, I should not be too proud though, verily, verily
If I didn’t have electricity
I would never see any cockroaches.

The apartment really is in a perfect part of Cleveland.
A place where cricket songs blend in with the railroad yard,
Passing cars, and the all around hum of the world turning.

They rock me to sleep
In the evening hours.

Russell Vidrick, 1993

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