The sounds you hear through walls are the same
old heartbreak, the twin-ness of neighbors, too close,
who you don’t have to imagine, even as you try
not to imagine their bodies, faces shattered, spasmed in orgasm.
The hollow of the toilet lid dropping ignites
your need, just as the shower
your need for renewal. They are older,
of a different race, and light from their bedroom
strikes through yours. They come
at you like the past, like some cracked love, repeating
through sheetrock. They see the blooms in your yard
and stab artificial red roses into a concrete planter. Your little
shotguns, fractals of one another—anger swollen
into your house, sounds of scraping chairs,
and the screaming next door mirrors in your own mouth,
same argument, same want, same missing
careening down the block, and the crashing
dishes smashed against the tile ready to cut your feet.
Katie Chaple is is the author of Pretty Little Rooms, winner of the 2012 Devil’s Kitchen Reading Award in Poetry through Southern Illinois University–Carbondale. She teaches poetry and writing at the University of West Georgia and edits Terminus Magazine. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in such journals as Antioch Review, Crab Orchard Review, Mead, New South, Passages North, Story South, The Rumpus, Washington Square, and others.