“24 and One-Half Addresses” – An impressionistic poem about places I have lived…

 

I.

Birth,

Antebellum ghost walking down the hallway,

our bodies were replaced.

 

II.

“H” Street,

I strummed a guitar for the first time,

fell in love with a dark-haired, elusive stranger.

 

III.

Across the street from city hall,

broken glass fell from the sky,

cut the bridge of my nose.

 

IV.

Monterey green,

 graffiti,

fountain poured over me.

 

V.

Moved across the country,

tobacco barn smoke prayers,

half-blood wolf picks up my scent.

 

VI.

El Dorado,

but there was no gold,

only sensual emptiness.

 

VII.

Train tracks,

red mud,

tried to break away from her.

 

VIII.

Pregnancy,

lost a child,

shattered.

 

IX.

Rebirth,

house on a lake,

hope and prospects.

 

X.

Navy,

medicine, broken bones, pinched nerves,

6 months in purgatory.

 

XI.

I met you in purgatory,

does that mean you were the darkness that surrounded me,

or the penny in my coffer?

 

XII.

We became reluctant neighbors,

I saw you making a blanket,

was it to warm or smother me?

 

XIII.

Three neighbors,

you and I wrestled with each other,

first born son entered stage left.

 

XIV.

We planted flowers,

our son tried to consume the earth,

then we all moved far away.

 

XV.

First island home,

ocean and typhoons,

we tried so hard to prevent the gale from tearing us apart.

 

XVI.

Second island home,

waterfall down the stairs,

geckos, coconut crabs, our children danced in the rain.

 

XVII.

Back in the mainland,

we finished our indentured servitude,

but go where and do what?

 

XVIII.

Landing spot just for starters,

accepted labor at white collar sweatshop,

we were so pressed and desperate.

 

XIX.

Flew like birds to the West,

emerald city atop a hill,

seeds of resentment planted.

 

XX.

Little white house on acreage,

the summer burned us,

I left you behind while I found our wages.

 

XXI.

First home that we called our own,

you never liked it, then cancer,

more resentment.

 

XXII.

We decided to keep it weird,

little swimming pool across the street,

we could hear our neighbors making love.

 

XXIII.

We got lucky and found a nice place,

the woodwork was lovely and meth heads abounded,

the town felt like a beautiful, sweet cupcake hovering over Hades.

 

XXIV.

Back at the start of the trail together,

looking for breathing room and freedom from oppressors,

we found that we are our own oppressors.

 

Half.

We are two halves again and no longer one,

you departed to grasp at that fire-licked cupcake,

I am out of purgatory.

 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.