He lives in a still life painted
by the Achcan School,
and I wonder if it was Jacob Riis
we bumped into on the way here.
No need to worry, this is only
a safe shore to wake to,
no place to grow attached
or get comfortable inside of.
A few wires run on the linoleum
around a pizza box and books
containing the latest developments
in poetry and philosophy.
There is a totem of beer cans, too
all of them emptied,
but the Virgin is well represented
by the blue window curtain.
A mouse scatters past us
like an urban tumbleweed on legs,
Jeff gives it no trouble
and lets the rodent share his home.
He is kind to all the animals,
including me, I am sleeping here
tonight in this room,
in between his bed and laptop.
If St. Benedict was alive today
he would rewrite his rule
to cover this circumstance,
how to be an anchorite, and sublet
About the contributor: Ben Nardolilli currently lives in New York City. His work has appeared in Perigee Magazine, Red Fez, Danse Macabre, The 22 Magazine, Quail Bell Magazine, Elimae, fwriction, Inwood Indiana, Pear Noir, The Minetta Review, and Yes Poetry. He blogs at mirrorsponge.blogspot.com and is looking to publish a novel.