You walk into a bar.
Your neighbor is taking home another man’s wife.
You watch them go out into the rain. Later, you watch her slam his door.
You go home, take off your boots.
Keep dropping them like small bombs onto your floor,
hoping he knows morse code. “Save yourself, man,”
you drop the boots again. “Come have a beer.”
From below there is silence.
You go back to the bar.
This time, your neighbor is helping another man out the door.
They are ahead of you on the sidewalk but you don’t try to catch up.
At home, you smell butter and cheese, you hear thudding noises.
You count them but they are meaningless.
Just noise, but still, in case,
you kick off your boots and answer back.
A man walks into the bar,
your neighbor, and says “Make it a double.”
You feel like you know him though you’ve never spoken.
You hear the hurt that has grown in his chest
even though his syllables are brusque and unwelcoming.
You take him down to the river, tell him to throw away everything that is dragging him down.
He stares at the river, stares at his hands.
He says “I’ll still be left with the river, I’ll still be left with my hands.”
You go back to your apartments.
You continue to drop your boots onto the floor.
"How are your hands?"