“2B” by Tony Gloeggler

Tony Gloeggler


I am the man who lives
in apartment 2B. I go
to work, come back late,
pick up the mail, throw
garbage down the chute.
I nod, smile at neighbors,
speak in short sentences,
keep my doorstep clean,
buy candy bars from kids
who knock at my door, tip
the janitor at Christmas.

The phone rarely rings
and no one visits.
I keep the windows shut,
shades pulled down. The walls
are bare, painted
bone-white. The tub
needs scrubbing and I never
make the bed. My wife
took my two daughters,
moved to Phoenix in April,
and my last good kiss
was six months ago.

Tonight, I will open
white cartons, eat beef
and broccoli with chopsticks,
watch the Knicks beat
the Pistons on cable, sit
at my desk, try to write
one perfect line. I’ll shut
all the lights, lie down
in bed, rub my cock
as though I were Aladdin
with one wish left.

from Rattle #13, Summer 2000

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