March 28, 2011

it's great to be alive

I lived with my father
sometimes. A cocaine dealer lived
under us, on the second of three
floors. I met him a million

times but never caught the name.
I heard his stereo
through the floor. His ex
dropped his daughter

off every other weekend.
Tattoos on her clavicle.
She was tan. I walked past a stroller
to the third floor.

When he took a girl home,
I’d hear it
until the morning. It wasn’t his fault
Summer was hot. I left the windows open.

I smoked cigarettes
with him in December.
We were snowed
in often. We have good, loud lungs.

When he had sex
it was so loud, my dresser
shook, my cologne
fell. I’ve been so tired. I’d sleep in
like him

if I could. One night, hot August,
I went out for a smoke. A pretty girl
from my high school
came on the stoop. She hugged.

I smiled. She blushed.
Half Asian half Hispanic, both
or neither,
we talked

for some time. I didn’t realize
what she was doing, where
we were. I was with her. She
walked in to his place. Cologne fell

off my nightstand.
I can still hear
her orgasm,
it echoes

off brick and concrete, off
the hydrant, she flutters
through my window curtains.
I hold my sheets.

dylan tyler forsyth (Lowell, MA, 1988)