Link: Joshua


In the Back Yard

If I were to remember
the first time & place I knew
I existed on this earth

I would be age three
pissing off the back porch
of our house

onto an old Polaroid Box
as if that could be
a natural occurrence.

My youth wasn’t only spent
in reckless pursuit
of bodily functions,

but in imitation
of the great masters.
With a dull kitchen spoon

and an imagined cape
I zigzagged my hand
as Zorro,

imprinting my presence
on the air surrounding
the cellar door.

I needed a zipper sweater
and tennis sneakers
not because of the comfort

Mr. Rogers imparted with his wardrobe changes
but because it was obvious
he knew how to accessorize.

I was disappointed
when at the top of the stairs
my mother prevented me

from toppling down
in my CHiPS plastic motorcycle bike
because I had seen

some teenagers accomplish
the feat on television.
I didn’t know it took

some combination
of age and size
not belonging to me

to soar past the tiny confines
of our backyard
beyond the railroad tracks

into the city of Philadelphia
where I could shake
Billy Penn’s hand

before pumping my fists
at the top of the Art Museum steps.
But I didn’t really dream that.

It only occurred to me now
thinking of pissing
in the backyard

wishing I remembered
what it was like
to be so close to the ground.

To have barely been born.

10:52 PM