Security Deposit

We called him the Fledgling,
a recent broken home dropout
who needed a place to unroll
his frayed sleeping bag, so
come the first of the September,
we cleaned out the spare room,
my girl and I, then watched
as he hung posters, and settled in,
making himself comfortable first
with our friends, the spread
in the fridge, and the lion’s share
of the white drugs I was selling
out the back door, then moving
up to the paring knife he used
on his wrists to spray a Pollack
imitation across the wallpaper,
and the long, bumpy ambulance
ride we called for him, all before
he could give us a cent for rent,
so we left his room how it was,
not vacuuming or boxing up,
or bothering to clean the walls
when we decided to move out.


by Drew Attana