00:42:00

starting out

16h07
an old rusted fence-
flimsy, yet strong enough to
hold back my childhood

16h08
fertile moss valleys
traversed step by step;
my shadow lingers

16h11
whose footsteps remain?
did he die- or did he simply
walk away?

16h12
trees don’t tell stories.
the cracked city sidewalks
whisper truths instead.

in front of my old elementary school:
16h15
i remember how
innocents laughed me away,
without listening.

my little sister
16h18
i was there for you,
disappearing Houdini-esque
when you needed me.

(i am here now.)

16h19
the sidewalks divide
a sea of broken cement/
a mossy canal.

around the corner, further down the street

16h22
i think of mothers,
gazing at this foundation
where once a house stood.

16h24
i wonder to whom
this tree prays: angry savior,
or bending winds?

16h25
fake fountains on lawns
browned by winter-
i hope they don’t pay for that.

16h26
oh, shit. a dog.

walking home

16h28
fifty-one nineteen:
whose life symphony now
haunts your remains?

mailman

16h30
i don’t envy you,
mister mail carrier.
at least some dogs like me.

16h31
a nest, perched safely
between naked brown branches:
barbed wire below

in front of the school again

16h32
closing my eyes,
i remember his face-
he never laughed with them.

(deviating a little)

16h34
“we are proud to be a VIPS Everybody Reads School”-
while across the street: gangsta rap and broken bottles.
i hear laughter overhead.

16h36
sunlight and forty ounces:
even the air here is drunk.
i continue walking and dream of merlot.

homeward
16h41
my shadow, impatient
flitting forth; the sun frowns
as i turn my back.

16h43
my mother will call soon.
it doesn’t feel like forty minutes,
but watches are honest.

crossing the street

16h45
for a moment,
i flirt shamelessly with death;
he helps me across.

on the edge of my lawn, standing still

16h47
i stand in the grass,
thinking bitter thoughts;
this won’t be mine much longer.

in front of my door

16h49
forty-two minutes:
eighteen years, forty-two minutes older;
cold and reflective,
i am home.

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