The Dweller by Elaine Dillof


THE DWELLER










I live in an apartment in the twenty-fifth floor of
a building that overlooks the Hudson River. The
apartment has floor to ceiling windows and I idle
away time gazing out at the water and sky. I can
see the rooftops of several modern glass and steel
buildings. They strike me as having a clean-shaven,
starched, staid look. However, one building with
three antennas makes me think of three hairs standing
upright on an otherwise bald head. Another building,
still under construction, appears to be wearing a
headband. Actually it’s an orange plastic net that’s
been placed along the edges of a roof. A row of
narrow pipes behind the net suggest feathers tucked
into the headband. But the most arresting sight is
a crane lying flat across the top of a building. I
see it as resembling an ancient Egyptian boat ( think 
Cleopatra) that has been stranded and marooned on a
precipice. There are moments, at dusk, when I view my-
self as someone left high and dry on a cliff.




THE LANDINGS





Landing 1
Mrs. Passerelli’s tomato sauce
simmering on the stove.
Her radio is always on.


Landing 2
The Israeli couple. There’s a daughter
my age, but I don’t know her.
We’ve never spoken.


Landing 3
Etty Kaushner’s perfume, called
Taboo, a present from her boss.
He’s married. 

Landing 4
On a medium flame, chocolate pudding
stirred and turning thick. My turn
to lick the spoon and scrape the pot.

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