Friday, August 19, 2011

The Walk

I don't know when I've felt so good in a very
long time, sitting here, licking the sweat
above my upper lip, my tongue reveling
in its salty pleasure. Just a thirty minute
tromp with my Molly. Thirty minutes
and Main St. All the hot chicks and dudes
standing in front of the bar, the cars streaming
lights into promise, Molly and me just hanging
with it all. Then the alley with the tattoo
shop and graffiti, the artist somewhere
holed up in ink, not noticing our passing.
Past the playground where thousands
of children have laughed and loved and lost.
Past the old haunted house where the grey
man watches from the upstairs window,
the porch swing creaking in the evening
breeze. Cross the street by the bottling
plant and the stonemaker's shop, headstones
with names etched on them wearing off
now from the years they have waited
for those left behind to come claim them;
past the polar bear who has kept guard
there for years on end--someone's Look
Homeward Angel gone north and shape-
shifted. And on down the last two blocks
where we meet a man who remarks
on my dog's beauty. Finally, the back
street home where I decide to take
a shortcut and come through the overgrowth
which has covered the back entrance
to home. And I fall in the dim light,
my leg hurting, Molly standing there waiting
for me to rise, me laughing at my own
stupidity in my own backyard, my over
grown lovely backyard. I rise and we
resume our 300 feet or so to the house,
me feeling like we've made it now girl,
only to get caught in the thorns
of my Impressionistic rose bush,
my head now a crown of thorns,
hair sticking out like the odd one
at the school dance, with no one here
to notice.

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