Just one floor above us, they pound the joists
with such intensity our windows shake
and our plaster ceiling reverberates
with each groan and turn and spring-loaded creak.
My husband and I are startled awake
to the quake that rides the earth’s hard seams
night after night before it shudders free.
Our light fixture swings when they reach their peak.

What’s wrong with us, we who delight to read
before bed, are just fine with once a week?
Yet, since they moved in, we can’t help but think
of ourselves, in some position to please—side
ways, upside down, under or on top.
Upstairs lovers, we hope you keep it up.

Jennifer Fandel is a native of Eau Claire who currently lives in St.  Louis. Ode to the Lovers Upstairs first appeared in Edition 5 from Architrave Press and is reprinted here by permission of the author. To learn more about Jennifer, visit www.jenniferfandel.com

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