October 18th

I know you said I don’t
take you around my town enough.
Trust me, it’s not that I don’t want to—
I’d love to walk you down the grass-less blocks
and rows of connected houses
crawling up 151st ave.

I’d love to make a right onto 88th street,
and show you the apartment buildings
too many uber drivers
have left my food at.
Show you the spot where the
gray truck was parked
for 3 years before finally getting towed.

But truth be told, I spend way more time
in my head than in my neighborhood.
As I walk up the winding path we call 153rd,
with the engraved benches
I swore I’d write at one day,
my mind is navigating winding thoughts,
talking in circles.

At the entrance, we see the present moment.
At least, as I understand it;
sensory information – what I hear, and smell:
cars whizzing past, grass.
Then you make a turn from there
and enter my perception,
where I rely on a deeper type of sense.

One that sometimes shows me the future
moments, like how the elderly couple
down the street will tuck further into themselves
when my hoodie and I pass by.
How that sparse grass I see will cease to be
when mother nature decides she’s had enough
of our carbon trampling.

Sorry, I’m rambling.
So here to our right is Bank of America,
the pigeons like to flock there in the evenings.
Like they’re coming to rest after their day shifts
If you keep walking down the block,
you’ll see the shopping center with the
Chase bank I use when I need to pay someone
to do my nails, or my laundry.
The little things that keep me feeling lavish.

Next to that is the laundromat we thought about trying
when my dad was done thinking about leaving my mom.
She wasn’t quite the same after that, though she
wasn’t the same before either,
disease eating her from the inside.

Inside me wasn’t the same after that, I must confess.
See, when you pass my perception,
you make a left into my memories,
or whatever mess is left up there.
I’ve been struggling to discern lies from reality,
it all feels like me, the voices sound like me.
But if I’m to trust them, then I’m not happy
and I’ve already told everyone I was fine
and now I’m at a dead end realizing
I took too many wrong turns and
I want to go back.
I really do.
I want to return to that laundromat, take your hand,
and show you the supermarket, the pizzeria,
the store where I got you those flowers you love.
But my world is a mess, and I can’t possibly
fathom walking through another one.

So I just can’t today,
I’m sorry.

Jean-Sebastien Surena