January One

I dream of Jeannie. Of Dion
and Bo Diddley. High and tights,
Hugo Boss, plimsolls and a VFW parking lot
where my mother roller skated as a girl.
At night I dream of Dayton: its oxidized bridges
which harbor graffiti like regretful tattoos
in intimate places. I dream a cherries jubilee
of fireworks bursting over the river,
of endless ranch houses with egg cream vinyl siding
and backyard basketball courts. I dream a horde
of Catholic boys named Tom and Drew to inhabit
those courts, then funnel them to Jesuit schools.

I dream I buy four ranch houses in Dayton
and they become a hotel. I pass Go and am given
two hundred dollars. When I wake I resolve
to be more proactive, so I leave you to sleep.
Last year’s newspapers are all flattened by foot tracks,
stained by road salt. Tell me, why is it I always
tell someone I love them for the first time
on a Sunday, and do I always mean it as an apology?
Today is the biggest Sunday, if a week was a year
and I am still sorry. I believe this one
will be different. I take a walk while the world is still
hungover, everyone stirring sauerkraut at their stoves.
I tell myself I feel better already, and this time I mean it.