Michelle Brittan Rosado – Condition of Rental Property Checklist

Michelle Brittan Rosado

Condition of Rental Property Checklist

The metal-framed windows keep sliding 
down in the heat, so we prop them up

with painters’ sticks left behind
by the workers after the last tenants

moved away. It’s our first apartment and we’re going 
to make this work, holding up every window 

for any breeze, though mostly catching 
the elderly neighbor’s midnight cigars 

on the stoop below, the divorcée’s video game 
soundtrack chiming down the courtyard. Hot air 

and car exhaust swirl between us. Still, we buy flowers 
though they wilt in a day, bananas darken 

overnight, a string of ants threads the hole 
in the window screen finding shade and sweet.

Author’s note: The poems in this series all use the image of a window as their starting point, some in the title itself and others more peripherally. I’ve been thinking of this symbol a lot lately — as a portal for wonder in childhood, an aperture to others’ lives during the pandemic, a view of the world outside after giving birth and spending those early days indoors. These poems may not have come into existence without the invitation to contribute to The Fresno 15, and I am endlessly grateful to the MFA program for my years there and the deep sense of community I’ve carried with me since graduating in 2011. Thank you for reading and for supporting the Larry Levis Memorial Scholarship. 

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