The girl in the apartment upstairs
vacuumed every day — the burr
and clatter of the building’s Hoover
racketing across wood floor, linoleum,
bumping baseboards — the thump of wheels
running over the sill between rooms —
the motor hum and vibration —
that was all I ever knew of her.
I tried to picture her, thought I might
meet her one day at the mailboxes,
say something nice about her clean floor
as the dust bunnies waited silently
beneath my bed.

© j.i. kleinberg

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