“It’s 2 AM”

and the eccentric neighbor
is playing the piano.
The melody is familiar —
it is a Tagalog tune —
but the title escapes me
each time I try to hum the words.
Earlier in the evening
I heard him outside our house
speaking with someone
and I judged his character once again
based on the gruffness of his voice
and the way in which he carries himself
around the neighborhood.
He can easily be mistaken for a thug
or a punk with his bare head,
bare feet, and bare back.
I have always stayed away from him,
always avoided any sort of contact with him,
but tonight I find myself
lingering before the half-open door,
leaning on the wooden frame,
looking out across the street
at that gloomy house up ahead,
listening to the notes of a mournful sonata.

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