Kate Northrop

Now Over the Empty Apartment

You in the door look back
and are no longer there,
although that is the hall
through which you walked a hundred times
thinking well, what of it? –awake
in the middle of the night–
and that is the window where the sky drew back and night came on,
where the planes banked in
scheduled and flashing from the west–
Your hand was pulling shut the shade
and mornings, your hand pulled it up again
though you are not there, you in the door going over the days,
going as a wave goes, that is
nowhere, and all your lovers now? Those real,
imagined? The sad,
gratified sighs?
All that while,
through the evenings, didn’t something
quietly call,
something off in the marginal light,
in the vapor through which
the faces of passengers dimmed
and flickered? That slight
rivering, insistent
beneath the blare of the television, beneath you as well, at the surface
busy with addresses, with pictures & books. You crowded the place,
you in the door
who looking back now–over the hallway, the shine
of the relentless floor–
can no longer be sure
you are the person indeed who had that body
and lived days in it there.

Kate Northrop
Now Over the Empty Apartment first appeared in AGNI.