The Block

By Roshni Riar, Staff Writer


I see the same faces

every day but none of them

know me. The white Honda

Civic with the rosary beads

hanging off the mirror, it

drives by me with no regard.

The dogs never stop barking,

never stop growling, their

snouts pressed against the fence

while I struggle to find my

house key. They remind me that

I don’t belong here. I am not

familiar. I rearrange my furniture

and watch families piling into

their SUVs, smiling and chattering

with purpose. I can’t remember

when I started peering through

my blinds to catch a glimpse of

what could be but now I can’t stop.

On a sunny afternoon, the girl

who lives in the blue house on

the corner rides by on her bike,

one hand on the handlebar,

the other gripping her phone.

The grey BMW that parks two

blocks over honks as it passes

and she swerves, pausing by

my front gate. My nose presses

against the dusty slats separating

her from me. She looks up,

catches my eye. I smile, contemplate

going down to say something to her.

She squints, scowls, kicks off the

ground and rides away.

I listen to her squeaky wheels until

they turn onto the busy road behind

us and get lost.