The curse.

looking somewhat sheepishly
at someone else's apartment,
tidied up especially
for uncomfortable afternoons.
being told about the toaster,
which apparently belongs to the landlord,
and which pieces of furniture
they’ll leave if we want them to leave.

being told, with the air
of an aside, somehow,
that they've only spent
three months here,
or a little more than that,
but they've agreed to end it
and so are both
going away; and suddenly
that is all I want to ask about.
was it the apartment?
is there a curse? does it trap fart-smells?
or simply, is there not enough room
for two people to be here
around and all the time?

I don't ask, and neither does my girlfriend,
though I can tell she's curious also.
instead, she says something
about the light in the morning
and asks what the attitude is
toward pets. I ask about bills; what's included
and how much extra
does it cost? he says he's moving out next week;
he's found a place. so has
his girlfriend. still refers to her

as his girlfriend. I notice that.
don't think
it was mutual. nearby
we have lunch, and the coffee
is very good, which goes
in the pro-column.

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