The Other Tenant
Poem by Melanie Emikohe
The rumor is sharp, uninhibited.
Mockery in public, against his
tattered sneakers or filthy habits;
but it's actually related to birth.
I've been warned to stay far-off,
status contaminates as we know;
so I decided to be stranger still,
to him who is renting next door.
Must be mean, guilt is beginning,
but for him who heard nothing
of kindness, perhaps that smile,
by instinct? was good enough.
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