they always come

taking a room

any room

to throw your rags

used paperbacks

old music in

& she wants quiet

are you a quiet boy? she asks

eyes all brown looking in smiles

& you nod

what other way can there be?

as you try to settle in

finding the lumps in the bed

worn ways from history’s quiet boys

hearing the water pipes hiss

they always come

see the king deposed from his throne

in a gone to dust room

they sit there smiling

the boys who’ve sat in your house

ripped up the long nights together

now watching you for tears

sadness to tell others

since she threw him out

he’s not the same

until there is a room full of them

& the landlady’s broom knocks the floor

dumm dumm dumm

so you throw ‘em out

they clump down the stairs thump thump thump

as she stares: I thought you were a quiet boy

& the next day

your shit is boxed there on the stoop

don’t come back she says eyes all steel now

I only want quiet boys here

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