Madeleine Wattenberg


There’s a pile of ashes in the sink.
I hope that impermanence
is the new way.
I tried to climb out the fire escape,
but instead met a bug swarm
as I pulled at the screen.
My apartment’s gears click—
in this space the most time has travelled
through me. You can see my hair
piled in the corners,
the little vacuum bleating its low battery,
and over the stairs
the smoke alarm’s steady red heart.
Outside, a boy is calling for his lost dog
and now I too know its name.

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