Roomful of Navels

You moved in next door.
I introduced myself.
You hugged me and adjusted your cap.
I watched the awed crowd at the Acme
as you mimed Deniro in Taxi
and was with you when you'd u-turn
your VW at yellow lights
instead of making a decision.
I was the only neighbor who knew
you let the dog out and got the paper
in bra and panties,
explaining over coffee
that you didn't leash Lassie either
and besides no one's up that early.

Pickles and milk for breakfast,
mescaline for lunch.
Don't knock it 'til you've tried it,
be the first on your block,
by the way its best with jazz.

Sat entranced watching
Once Upon a Time in the West,
but read all of Kafka,
Kierkegaard and Sartre.

And then there was 'the room.'
Three boulders and a sheet of slate
coffee table where you studied
your round rock collection
and hung hundreds of
drawings of navels --
covering the walls and ceiling,
self portraits, you said,
but no two were alike.

They boarded up your house
when you disappeared,
the neighborhood pretended
you never happened.
I'm working now and
have my own place.

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