short-term tenancy

the house is a barren prospect
an idiosyncratic testament
to the needs and vagaries of past occupiers
due for demolition and gentrific metamorphosis
in an area of nouveau potential

the rooms reek of an invasive disinfectant
the landlord has gone to some lengths
to disguise lingering smells
that ooze from cracked walls and spreading floors
a vague presence of rot
the pervasive odour of sweat
as though a dozen generations of testosteroned tenantry
viewed concepts of hygiene
with disdain

bare boards
naked timber benches
cobwebs and cavities
burnt-out lightbulbs

his boxes are everywhere
a disarray of packaging
bed linen in the lounge
books and paraphenalia in the main bedroom
the one where the lightswitch does not respond
they will not be unpacked
this is short term-only

he will move on soon

© Frank Prem, 2002


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