Paul lives on the second floor
above a cafe in the middle of the block.
Half of the parking is taken up
by abandoned and stripped cars.
His door is between the two rooms
of the cafe below.
A used bookstore resides at the corner.
A natural medicine shop at the other corner.
The wooden steps creak when he ascends
and kaerc when he descends.
His bed room is above the cafe’s ovens.
Each morning he wakes to the smell of hot bread cooling.
His apartment has a single bare light
he never turns on.
At night street lights paint his walls and ceilings
through windows without curtains.
His bed is four yoga mats on the floor
and a natural canvas throw pillow.
A kettle sits on the stove.
Loose leaf tea is in a tin to be packed in a thimble.
His two dark brown thrift shop mugs
display a Roosevelt Elk and Olympic National Park.
Each mug is repaired with crack lines
in different locations.
copyright © 2023 Kenneth P. Gurney