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I Used to Think I Was Only One Person

Oct. 13, 2010
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My downstairs neighbor salts
her midnight bath. Hot water thunders
the floorboards. This silence inside
my bedroom must be her disrobing.
Within any crowd I often constrain a sky
of hand-drawn constellations. Four simple
houses blossom along this gravel branch
where dust arrives just before
the breeze. When asked for my address
I might insist we live more like trees
than tenants. We float, we
submerge. Another year city council
voted down extending sidewalks past downtown.
Doesn’t my smartphone believe in satellites?
I too undress before each dream completely.
Tonight my window can’t sight the moon, though
every birch searches with an extraordinary light.

Brent Goodman is the author of The Brother Swimming Beneath Me (2009 Black Lawrence Press). His work has appeared in Poetry, The Beloit Poetry Journal, Gulf Coast, Diode, No Tell Motel, and elsewhere. He lives and works in Rhinelander, WI. 


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