What more does he need? He sits at a small, round bar table
a wooden top with wrought iron legs, one of the two matching
stools under him
as, perched high, he looks out the window, a 4×6 view
to the south and Sitka Sound.
The light from the window captures the kitchen’s ample cabinets
and counter across the room,
filling in the corner, a stainless steel sink, a small electric stove
and matching refrigerator, brand new, ample to feed
but right now the stove heating his morning tea.
Along the other wall, an overstuffed sofa with a table and lamp,
just made for stretching out on and reading or writing
for that matter, sitting up,
his MacBook Air on his lap, banging out his inner news,
the thick rug under his stocking feet
cushioning any harshness.
What more does he need?
Down the short hall to his left, a small bedroom with a big bed,
queen-sized but room enough for a four-draw chest
and built in storage along one wall.
It’s here at night, usually late, that he falls asleep reading,
the table lamp nor the window behind and above,
unable to offer anything to keep him awake
to even one more sentence on the printed page.
To the right of the hall, close by the bedroom, the bathroom,
compact but with plenty of space to shave and shower,
and lots of mirror and light and counter surface
with drawers beneath.
Along the other wall, reflected in the mirror, a huge washer
ready to wash away any lingering stains.
And beyond, a tiled shower and toilet, its own little enclave
of personal care, inviting relief from the world,
sloshing away the waste, in him and on him, readying him
for the day
and the surprises it will surely bring.
What more does he need? Nothing, really, it’s all right here
in these two rooms, warmth
He pauses only when he hears the soft murmur of voices
next door, the friendly sounds weaving through the walls
of the married couple’s apartment
but carrying a message of love and respect.
And then, this morning, a new sound, from above, welcoming,
quiet talk, perhaps pillow talk,
in the early morning,
also, gentle and caring in tone, reminding him once more
of what he would like, what he’s open to,
in his solitary life.
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