Neighbor by Rachel Levitsky


Neighbor is a long page
about the neighbor

why it is called “Confession”
or if it’s called “My Neighbor”

or what, if anything, I am.
I have ideas.

At the time I type this
I’ve been at it for one year

the last six months
completely in my head all in my head

where there are many levels.
The problem is whether they

are connected or if
they are levels

at all. “A level” may connote a
piece in a unified structure,

or unity of disconnected parts
firmly housed. By what?

The State or me
or if I am the State.

I am a collection
of desire


And so there is Neighbor
and then there is my neighbor.

In the book called Is My Neighbor
I am the object

of the relationship I’m in
to which               I have distance.

(between walls and / or levels).
Distance is domain.

I share it with the I
of I         that I

am aware of. When I confess
I make this distance.

I nearly wrote detachment
but it is not detachment.

Detachment is the thing
I create when I

am not aware of the I
I am aware of.

Detachment is the thing
I make when I love.

Love is a more complicated thing
when I am speaking of my neighbor

who knows I’ve rejected him on numerous occasions
to whom I’ve been lately inexplicably nice.

Love is a complicated thing
when I speak of my neighbor,

crazy, though committed to the logic
of life, currently of being a good mother.

Why then do I say
she is crazy when

crazy is how we name
those who refuse.

But I love my neighbor
I am sure I

love the closeness / mediated
distance we collaborate / corroborate

I wrote distance not detachment
we never attach / to begin.

Already I am telling you about the neighbor
who today asked             where was I going?

Sly look in his eye—
              Which naughtiness are you tonight.


From the book Neighbor by Rachel Levitsky. Excerpted with permission from Ugly Duckling Presse. Copyright © 2009 by Rachel Levitsky.