Monday, April 20, 2009

in the city of my birth
there is a window
in an old school-come-municipal courthouse
the light chases motes
across the yellowed surface of a filing cabinet
where a cutting of a houseplant
stretches white roots into a drinking glass
of murky water
a muddy slope of dike and concrete floodwall
holds back a river of spring rain
the hills are wetly verdant
on the kentucky side
visible through the window
and in the dark,
between manilla sheets

sits the paper that certifies
that iw as born alive, and acknowledged by my parents

somewhere, in the same building
are the records of my arrests
for public intoxication,
the nightsspent in the blue room
with stars cutout of the plywood
where drunks howl, sing or sleep,
the marriage certificates of old friends

i have been a poor son of this place
to flee its crumbling buildings
boarded storefronts
choosing diaspora over ruin

leaving friends and family to
die in the blue grip
of opiates,of cheap speed
the house of my childhood,

with itsindustrial carpeting and HUD-approved
metal handrails
it's boarded fireplace
still squats
in its narrow allotment of mud
like a headstone
over an empty plot

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