The Girl Next Door


The house is old, walls thin.

She lives in the small studio

around the back.

My room is next to her’s.


At night I lie awake alone,

only a few feet from her body

listening to the creak and moan

as her lovers come

leaving their heat inside her.


Watching her from my window,

body calm, face passive

she goes out to her day:

passionless, never smiling.

I am conscious of the

ten or fifteen years between us

like the glass, and the plaster.


Is that the same passive

face, the calm that clenches

around her lovers at night

gasping out her desire,

groaning her joy

with those she touches?


I am older, the walls thin.

She must never know

the gladness I feel

as she reaches passion around

their flesh.

It might lessen her pleasure,

and the walls would grow thicker.


first published in Living With a Stranger: self portrait, 1993. Also reprinted in Love is Just Lust Misspelled, 1994.

About johnsmithiiimxiii

John Smith, IIMXIII is the avatar of an award winning poet, artist, etc. who still lives in the Palouse country of the Pacific NW. He has not received much notice with his prose . . . but as his avatar, I hope that he keeps plugging along.

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