I don’t live in that world, that aching red
room of dim lights, the white statue of an elephant
stuck in the corner, and someone inevitably
half-asleep and drooling on the sofa.
The door rarely opens, and when it does, someone
new slouches in, hands in pockets, jacket dirty
or scuffed, shoes untied. We are in permanent
disarray here. We don’t comb our hair.
The alarms on our phones ring incessantly, snoozed
every nine minutes, or disregarded entirely,
so there’s a quiet shrillness under everything,
under the bass humming through the floor
and the murmurs of empty conversation.
We draw lines across the skin of each other’s arms