IT’S ABOUT THE DOG
We create goals or have them handed to us
in childhood when we barely understand,
being nothing more than piles of flesh
in search of direction with a need for comfort,
but we pursue nonetheless, spend hours honing skills,
then question it, become financially secure,
then question it, become moral, ethical, thrifty,
drain the swimming pool, dump the luxury sedan,
then question it. We meet wholesome people
then abandon them to fulfill manufactured needs.
We are consistent amid our persistent inconsistency,
as fickle as weather upon any given day.
It’s no wonder that so many of us have dogs.
Sword through the clouds
that punctures heaven’s blue,
too high for birds to perch
upon the dizzying edge,
what are you
but a dimly lit torch
against the hazy night sky
that induces vertigo
when we dare
to touch the stars
from the clear, bubbled box
protruding on your side.
An information booth,
you highlight through daylight
the city below
from the vantage
of various compass points,
then become a darkened stage
for a lover’s caress or
a criminal’s momentary refuge.
Though many nest
within your windows,
the sun still admonishes
for obstructing its view,
inflicting daily photon lashings
to your western behind.
Nearly half a century has passed
since he visited the city
of his college days,
sauntering down streets
he no longer found familiar.
It was summer and he walked alone,
searching for landmarks once frequented,
the sub shop, jazz club, corner grocery,
all gone, swallowed by apartments
and office buildings.
The college still stands,
its façade completely redone,
making the building seem smaller,
cramped between businesses and dorms,
each sporting distinctive décor
on the narrow road
that connected them all,
inundated with parked cars
and overgrown trees
that dwarfed the constricted sidewalk.
Did Poto still teach?
Time has likely swallowed him as well.
Traffic was constant and consistently noisy
as he circled the block
a second time, hoping, by chance,
to bump into a former classmate
or recognizable friend
that might be on a similar journey,
retracing a path to the past,
someone with a set of directions
pointing the way toward nostalgia
and the roads from where he came.