Audre Lorde

Rooming houses are old women

Rooming houses are old women
rocking dark windows into their whens
waiting incomplete circles
rent office to stoop to
community bathrooms to gas rings and
under-bed boxes of once useful garbage
city issued with a twice-a-month check
the young men next door with their loud midnight parties
and fishy rings left in the bathtub
no longer arouse them
from midnight to mealtime no stops inbetween
light breaking to pass through jumbled up windows
and who was it who married the widow that Buzzie's son messed with?  

To Welfare and insult from the slow shuffle  
from dayswork to shopping bags heavy with leftovers
Rooming houses  
are old women waiting  
through their darkening windows  
the end or beginning of agony  
old women seen through half-ajar doors   
they are not waiting  
but being  
an entrance to somewhere  
unknown and desired  
and not new.