The before-coffee groans,
the after-midnight sex.

The shrill morning arias escaping
from a too-cold shower.

The flat evening tones of a pre-teen
acne-faced trumpet player,

of a pouty six-year-old Suzuki "violinist,"
of an ecstatic kazoo-loving toddler—

one strangely synchronized
daily suburban serenade catching

the tail wind of a neighborhood bus route
to our Welcome-mat-free front door.

(Don't knock. Don't come in.)
Though yards divide us,

though pines masquerade as fences,
their lives—these strangers—climb in

through the open window,
stomp down the long hallway

into the canals of our most private
ears that refuse to hear

our own stranger voices
squawking, squealing, screaming

now at the panting dogs,
now at the mute children,

now at each other with our surprised
and talkative eyes,

"Shut up! Shut up! Shut up!
The neighbors will hear."