Michelangelo’s Slaves
by AKaiser

Crossing that bridge from the 7th to the 3rd
arrondissement and stopping on that corner

to see the slaves still         exposed in that south
west window of the Louvre         on the way

from home where I would catch the bus
struggling out of their clothes           their skin.

Toilet in the hallway, like in all chambres de
bonnes. The ceilings, slanted.          If I stood

tiptoe and leaned      from the slanted window
I could see the Eiffel Tower.          I had no fridge.

Grocery bags hung from the back window the
one giving out to the interior courtyard down

into the tunnel below.That winter we were
no longer.               The side where laundry hung.

Each evening, from the train to the bus, back
to town, to that corner.          I can’t remember

if the slaves were lighted at night. The Tower
was.                            Waking late a quiet Saturday,

I reached     hungry to fish back into the room
some soup.               The neighbor across the way,

who I never saw             a photographer perhaps
had taken glossy black and whites shots of my

food, taken the time
to string them across his window for me.