Daily Archives: June 10, 2020

Incident On R Street

Third floor neighbors
call the cops
because one floor down from them
a crowd of people
we don’t recognize
are smoking crack,
and one floor down from that
all I can hear is the noise
of heavy stumbling on
the kitchen floor, bedroom floors,
bathroom floor, living room floor
above me…

Third floor has a newborn
and they’re a little bit upset
at second floor’s disarray and clamor,
how we all had roaches for a few months
because no one there took out the trash
and now we’ve cleared that up —
but who are all these people

Third floor wonders
why the cops don’t come
to see to the second floor.

I know they won’t.

They didn’t come for my break in,
and when they came later on
for the one next door
they told me it was my fault
for living in 
this neighborhood.

The only time they’ve ever come
to rattle our doors
was in the deep of the night
when a roommate died
from a fentanyl kiss
on the second floor 
years ago.

So I sit and wonder
about the limited potential
for there ever to be
a big blue knock
on the building door,

badges and flashlights
and guns asking me
to let them in
to the hallway to
the floors above me,

fat chance of anything at all
unless someone dies

or is about to die…

What answer should I make
to a knock in the night
from someone who thinks
any pain on this street
is well-deserved?

No idea, but

we need something 
that doesn’t look like this,
like any of this.