every morning, the two birds on the branch outside my window glance down at the empty avenue below. they seem to recognize the desolation, and speak a little more quietly as a result. or maybe they’re gossiping about the man who’s always sweeping his stoop as the sun rises, brushing invisible dust with the precision of a calligrapher. he hasn’t had a visitor in months, of course. but he’s always ready. i, too, think it’s ridiculous until i’m bleaching the surface of my desk just to sit there. just in case. we’re all just scrubbing our walls pretending we’re waiting for someone. something. plunging the quiet down the drain to filter out into some foreign ocean.
every night, i watch the window across the way. the light’s always on no matter what. don’t they ever sleep? then again, maybe there’s something about a lit room that reminds them they’re alive. i’ve come to listen for the music humming from someone’s backyard, or the smack of the basketball that announces the start of summer. maybe we’re all counting on each other’s noises to just feel part of something. i wonder if anyone’s hanging on to my window for dear life. should i play my music louder? one night, while lying in bed, i see the faint outline of someone’s palm pressed up against the window across the way. like a starfish, or maybe just a star. i press mine against the glass, too. waving back. for a minute, our hands just rest there. no longer reaching.