Kate Northrop

The Neighbor

Now it’s their daughter
laughing with a boy who calls from the window
something precise and obscene
to the two men crossing the empty park,
carrying large instruments
in dark cases.
Snow hangs over the city, over
the afternoon
and when one man stops, shifting his weight,
the other looks at the sky.
Then they walk on, past the fountain; they go
straight through the shadows of trees. Perhaps
they don’t hear, or aren’t worried by girls; perhaps
they couldn’t care less, but I live here beside her
and I know that laughter made exactly of angles.
I know her face
and her eyes that are hollow,
smooth as a place where a rock has been.

Kate Northrop
The Neighbor first appeared in AGNI, Vol 61, Spring 2005.