Squint and ignore traffic’s steady line–
this picture-postcard–a neighborhood 
bisected into little rows. What lies
beyond the fenceline brush is the crumbling
where-we-live, where the apartments fall
down around our necks, the factories 
and shuttered old commercial buildings
looming over our apartment blocks 
and rented homes.

Maybe I’ll always live
on this border, in this expensive place
of almost just enough, selling words 
for less each year, adjusted
for the cost of inflation. I rise
to greet each morning with the view
of the brick wall outside my windows,
two blocks down from the detached
homes, greening in their sectioned yards.