Thursday, July 14, 2022

Better and Better

She needs a new room to rent.
She’s sick to death of the house
She shares with her former friends.

There’s a sign on a kiosk,
Among the advertisements
And announcements of events,

Place to let for a student,
A one-bedroom apartment,
But with another student

Already in the main room
Renting space on the sofa,
With a single bathroom shared.

Reluctantly, she decides
To check it out. It’s married
Housing, and it’s occupied

By a recently divorced
White boy, still a teenager,
Who doesn’t want to move out

But can’t pay full rent himself.
It’s on the top floor, good views
Over the campus forest,

Lots of light in the bedroom.
He seems nice, doesn’t give off
Any racist vibes, harmless

Little guy in overalls
And beard, smaller than herself.
She moves in, and, for awhile,

It’s a fun experiment.
Neither one has ever roomed
With a peer identified

As opposite in both race
And sex, in the binaries
They’ve both lived life in to now.

She can’t resist teasing him
A little bit, a little
Flirtatiously. Celibate

Herself, not really by choice,
She’s fascinated by him
Without feeling attracted,

And he’s clearly at loose ends,
Since his equally young wife
Of six months cleared out on him.

But after a month, it’s just,
Boring, you know? To them both,
What had seemed grown-up, daring.

He’s just another housemate
With his own ideas about
What to cook and when to clean,

And when her best friend moves out
Of the sisterhood she’d joined,
They find a place together,

This time fully off-campus,
With two bedrooms and two baths,
Not perfect, but much better.

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