The neighbors howl in the night
allowing sick family values
to spill across their lawn
into Luna’s waning light.
In my bed, I translate words that slur
through the air to my window
and detect escalating anger.
It’s seconds past 2 a.m.
lead to F-bombs and wailing
and I wonder if they’re drunk enough
to forget the mistakes they weave together
in the small hours of day.
These eruptions leave traces
of angst across our yards
that linger like confiscated notes
exposing secrets between friends
My conscience tells me to shut the window,
to call the police, to confront them,
but instead I lie here and listen.
There’s no rest on Avenue B tonight.
Brenda Warren 2013
Process notes: These words were difficult for me. I did not use “lab.” I wanted to write a piece about summer, but the darkness in the words prohibited its completion. So instead, I wrote about my neighbors. Although this happens a few times a year, they are generally nice people.