It is hard to see the universe
in this tiny blue room.
The light is too bright;
air blows from the vent too constantly,
dry and at the wrong temperature;

paint peels from walls in corners
and behind chairs;
piles of clothes, pots and pans
cover every scrap of furniture,
draping over onto the tile floor;

children running too fast for indoors,
knocking things over
and calling to each other
with shrieks fit for a mountain top;
parents confused, hushing,
trying to find quiet in a tin box

(the same apartment as all others
in this housing project)
stripped to its concrete walls,
as if to say to its inhabitants,
‘stay here, if you must,
but please don’t try to find comfort
in this place,
and don’t stay long whatever you do.’

The boy goads his father into a game of catch
over the TV.