At night, when we’re in,
the others come out,
men on bikes who ride
through the dry flood channels
and into the alleyways,
tugging on garage locks,
pulling at screens,
shining flashlights into dumpsters,
circling into the smooth courtyards
while tenants sleep,
drapes drawn against the moon.

Outside my bedroom
shrubbery scratches at the stucco
and I strain to hear
their soft whistles, muffled voices
like stagehands moving scenery
between acts.
In the morning
by the laundry room,
a pyramid of cigarette butts,
as if someone had been watching,
or guarding,
all night long.

Published on Kimera, Friction

Photo by paul hanaoka on Unsplash