A hundred minutes from home and nothing looks like it used to,
but men on the street say the same things. A guilty relief.
I worried my ring would change things: make me less than myself,
more a collared dog escaped from the yard.
The brownstones have fresh facades, already summer dusty, wanting
for rain. Here is the corner that was a bodega, then a crime scene,
now a realty office. I suppose I've shifted, too. Three years of sun
and sorrow will mark a soul or a map. It's all the same.
The KFC dumpster still spills chicken bones and tattered skin.
Motorcycles parade, trailing bachata blare and car alarms.
A basketball game is picked up and up and up, and I wonder if the new girl
in my old window hates the dribble trickle as much as I did.
The gentry seek fresh land with cute cafes, pet-friendly, washers in unit.
Remember the final scene in the laundromat? Quarters rolling on the floor,
spin cycle unstuck with a kick, the attendant turning the dryer up up up
on delicates tumbling low, trying to push me out. It worked.
I live in Jersey now. In twelve minutes, I'll be wiping sweat from my lip
in a chilly subway car, crossing rivers, hunting graffiti and resisting ads.
Seek Jesus. Visit Maryland. If you see something, say something.
The problem is this: I look away, and it morphs before me, grinning.
Where did the time go? Why am I newly scared of delivery bikes
when they speed the same on both sides of the dotted line between states?
There's history I knew and unknew and also stuff I missed completely.
I was here. I was here. I was here.
Excellent work. Looking forward to reading more!
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