Bayport 1-1859

Bayport 1-1859


The house looks a lot smaller now

When we lived there
It was big

I look through naked hedges
As I stand on 78th Street
Between the corner and the alley

The big cottonwood tree
Is gone now
There’s a stump

The chain link fence
Between our yard and the Rinellas
Is still there
But the Rinellas are gone

Licorice used to play
At the bottom of that fence
Using his nose to
Make sense of the world

I hear
Rustling cottonwood leaves
Smell the lilacs that
Grew between the hedges
And the garage

Used to be enormous
That garage
But it isn’t now
Just room for one car

On the door to the box in the alley
That used to hold our trash can
Somebody has scratched the words
“Fuck You”

Once, when we lived here
I found a scratched swastika

I imagine a person
Kneeling in front of the box
Using a knife or a sharp stone
Not realizing that the box
Is a mirror

I take a long last look
And then imitate a sane person and
Walk calmly away


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