Tiles [prose poem]


[ . . . ]

. . . and so he says, sipping his coffee this morning, not being able to enter the kitchen to have anything with his coffee, “Waiting for the man to finish putting in new tiles, really on, that is, over the old tiles. I do not know how long they will last, but it will be different than the shit we had, broken and loose tiles. I wonder now if there is going to be any endurance to these new ones placed over the old ones, but many of the older tiles were not cracked or loose and so it should be okay, but the loose ones had to be replaced, and they are not even in thickness with the tiles originally on the floor, so when the layer of tiles that are being placed on now covers the spots where the original tiles were placed, there will be a fraction of unevenness beneath, which in time will cause them to crack because there will be some give in them . . . ?

He continues, “the new tiles are being placed not square over the older tiles, but in overlap so as to add to the fixing they will impose. The job looks well enough done. Better than I can do, but I have watched him do it so I will then be able to handle putting down tiles if I should ever need to do so.”

[ . . . ]


He wants to have breakfast.It has already been two and half hours. It should be a little less than an hour—but the man putting in the tiles has just notified him that he needs another box and will have to go to the shop in the building next to the next building over, living in a building complex that used to be owned by Trump’s father. Rent stabilized apartments.

[ . . . ]

What he wants to say about having to get more tiles he does not say. How hungry he is, he does not mention, does not ask questions about how long the man thinks he is going to take. On these he remains mute. In fact, he spends much of the time, while the man is putting in  tiles, reading.


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