189 N. Marengo Street, Apt 206

By Andrea Auten

Serenity comes in the size of a studio apartment
Overlooking the second building to the right
Down just beyond the 210 freeway
With subtle scents like free coffee in the lobby
A clean and quiet hallway freshly painted in hipster olive-tan
Old wood floors and a new Ikea kitchen
Windows that barely move up and down with ancient sashes
Like home.

Winter spritzes rain
stopping SoCal traffic, though my Samsung Phone—
when double tapped—
reads the temperature of the Midwest:
snow-cast warning.

The cat seems equally serene.
It fits her to be in this small walled, high ceiling brief history of the 1920’s
tall and skinny building where she can look out beyond
The previous cat-owners, their dappled days of refined Charleston
Gramophone tin-can street songs
from simpler times. Sitting
on the window sill, stately staking her claim.

My man will come home in the dark
Weary from too much discipline meted out to wearier kids
Beaten down by poverty and inequality losing
one more chink of their Dignity
in this city that polarizes the line between those in ‘the bizz’ and the rest of us
The City of Angels, and discord, and too much, and tired, and dusty, and grand—
My man will eat dinner with me
And pet our cat, awaiting his man lap.


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