Sub-letting the spare room to Heidi, the struggling sculptor,
was a big mistake. Soon the beams in the kitchen
bowed under the strain of some massive marble block
and the chisel pecked away at my skull all night.
She kept herself to herself, paid her peppercorn rent
through a crack in the door, left hairs in the sink.
“This can’t go on,” I said as we passed on the stairs.
She closed her eyes when she spoke: “But he’s almost done.”
A few days later the hammering stopped. Then came
the giggles, the gurgling laughter, the creaking bedsprings
even on Sunday afternoons, then the raised voices
followed by broken plates and cups, then the single shot.
1 February 2018