17 June Street
17 June Street is where you dropped
me off in December
without a coat to keep me warm.
I walked the three blocks to Marcus’ house
who was drunkenly playing Edelweiss
on his accordion when I arrived.
“You are in
Marcus said as I sipped a whiskey sour and we smoked
in his parlor.
I replied trying to sound confident
but could hear the words break weakly across
his tortoise shell carpet.
Marcus only took a sip and laughed.
“Optimism is not suited to you
after we passed the day drinking
the problems inherent with literary giants
and speculating on the birth date
of the antichrist
I borrowed a coat from him and
his protests and his offers to call a cab
to walk for home.
The sun was still out as I departed
Everything in the city
seemed to be out of position
and aligned on a certain tilt that made me
turn my head
to match it.
The streets were mostly empty yet were lined
in a particular
I cut through the park near home
and started to feel sober
as I made it to the playground
and laid down on the slide
to look at a sky
that had by then
turned dark during my walk.
I thought back to the times you would take the kids there.
Their screams and laughter rang out
noiselessly nearby me
from some frozen wonderland
just out of my reach.
Questions ran through my mind
about my missed opportunities
and re-arranging a life.
There were no answers though
only the cold sound of the chains rattling
on the swings and on the flagless flag pole.