"This is just the place for you."

The Soul as Rooms for Rent

Good light a few hours each morning and cheap,
just you’ll want to think about the neighborhood–

Not dangerous, don’t misunderstand–just dead, storefront
church and hourly-rate motel boarded up both.

Buses don’t run past eight and not at all on Sundays.
Means you’ve got to think ahead since the market’s

Gone under, but honey, you don’t look like a big eater,
and I bet you like quiet some too. We’ve got that,

Quiet. I’d bet, in fact, this is just the kind of place
you were hoping for. Over there’s the stove;

Pilot’s out but it works fine, don’t worry, and that, well,
that’s formica, not original, but looking out

There’s the under-eaves scrollwork, only wanting some paint
and maybe the thrashers’ nests cleared out.

Or maybe not. Nothing here, the hardwood
sure echoes. That walnut? Maple? Anyway,

I bet you don’t have a whole lot of furniture. No.
This is just the place for you. And we can do

Month-to-month. Whatever you need. I don’t know,
you could set up a little table beneath the window there,

Make yourself a cup of coffee, maybe get some work done.
Just imagine that. Wouldn’t that be lovely?

Jeffrey Schultz
from 32 Poems, Fall/Winter 2012