The Old Apartment

 

the bathroom carpet sprouted mushrooms overnight
in the tiny studio apartment over the carport
with the shit-brown rental shag
and ancient gas heater
I thought might smother me in my sleep

 

living on stilts up a rickety flight of stairs
does nothing for your self-esteem
nor will a diet of ramen and box mac & cheese
washed down with store-brand cola

 

I lived a brown life flavored with ramen
oozed caramel-colored lust
the faux-wood paneling and I were unrelieved
no touch of joy could survive that cursed space
as if the flat was built over a clown graveyard

 

If the apartment was haunted, it was by me
insomniac ravings muttered into my own ear
barely audible over the huck and hustle of late-night tv
the ghostly laughter of celebrity guests
the television a glowing portal to the other world

 

 

 

 

About the Author

Keith Welch lives in Bloomington, Indiana, with a cockatiel of uncertain temperament. He considers himself an unreliable narrator. Keith has poetry published or forthcoming in Open: Journal of Arts and Letters, Literary Orphans, Dime Show Review, and Writers Resist. He likes to meet other poets and invites you to follow him on Twitter @OutragedPoet. He will follow back other writers.