a resignation

not a ghost town but a town filled with ghosts
and the difference
i think
is an important one

end of summer in the umpteenth year of
some unpopular war

simple sun nailed to an obvious sky

sound of traffic and of air conditioners, dogs
barking in the distance, children laughing
or fighting in anonymous back yards and i
move aimlessly up and down sidewalks covered in
chalk drawings, afraid i’ll see you again
and afraid i won’t

i stand in the inadequate shade of dying trees

fill in the empty spaces between bars and
churches, between tattoo parlors and
funeral homes, and when i turned 30 i realized
i could no longer remember 17

when i turned 40, i finally figured out that
25 was all that had ever really mattered

i finally figured out that silence carried more
weight that all of the words i’d ever wasted
my life listening to, than all of the ones i’d
ever scratched into the soft flesh of forgotten
friends or all of the ones they’d burned into mine

and after realization



a handful of pills beneath the bridge and
the smell of decay that rises from the river

the names of ex-lovers that matter less
with each passing year

carved each of them deep into my heart
but then couldn’t remember why