The Ghost of Avenue B
One of those houses from the Twenties
with a side door I could find
past the out-of-control wisteria.
In the rain it brushed me with water
when I tried to duck under it.
It left wet pollen in my hair.
Inside I was inside a green box,
where a wall of windows reached
high into the arching trees.
Through the night I could listen
to the rain drip among the branches.
Rain bubbling like the mouth of a spring.
To catch the first bus I walked out
in the first light, down the middle of the street,
through the tunnel the trees made.
The birds sang over me as if for me,
filling the world, their plenitude
following me, carrying me through the street.
Past the grocery with its broken screen.
Past the house with the woman at the piano,
her Liszt and her Chopin crying out.
A succession of people have lived there.
They have seen and heard everything,
the rain, the birds, the piano,
the hinge on the door, the swaying
of the trees, their own footsteps
as they walked to the bus stop.
There was a sign in the yard this morning,
but the emptiness of the empty room
is an illusion, an old trick of the eye and heart.
Monty Jones is a writer in Austin, Texas. His book of poems Cracks in the Earth was published in 2018 by Cat Shadow Press of Austin.