lucky dog

Little kids are playing soccer
The ones acting like I used to
Tangling themselves in goalie nets 
The parents we never turned into never-minding. 
A daddy plays his boombox
For the crowd 
Empire of the Sun, remember them
His playlist blaring louder now
You know the one
Remember when we’d heard it 
My first time was magic but for you a chore
Over at that spot we used to know 
That Extra Fancy
The one where a lady-turned-mommy served us Gansetts 
And the lighting looked good enough for oysters?  

Do you remember Steve?
That dude
The one
The guy from Full Circle 
Cracked us tall boys of Genesee I think
Fixed us skee-ball that one time, then handed over tally chalk for scores?
I think saw him wearing Chinos
Outside of Artichoke
The one on North 7th 
By Starbucks
By the Dunkin’
By the train
And fussing with his iPad
Sweat-back looking grody
Did you know they’d one day grow into what we’re close to becoming?  

I suppose I never thought ahead,
Too much looking down
My hand with yours
Or any time we walked along something new For me 
Polished concrete
Or that hallway towards Larry Lawrence
They closed it down
It’s gone for good.       

There’s also people here

Who look like what we used to do
Doing things we used to be
Though now they’ve got their White Claws
And Triple-Lens phones
Lounging on our bench-shaped stones
And dreaming upon towers
We never knew or cared would one day exist for them to ponder on
This never was our spot, was it?  

Wishing wells erode
Over time
And yet there 
Still remains,
Some times at least,
Yesteryear precipices
Those Mesas on top of pillars 
Floating glad-ware lids for canyons 
Too large to fresh-seal shut for good. 
These plateaus are carved around, 
Speckled relics sometimes close 
But often far in way
Luckily still
Lucky Dog and Allswell 
They’re still there
The promenade at Brooklyn Heights 
I suppose that one’s all me  

The ones once ours 
Were they really that
Or just new for me and still fun for you?
Did we fall upon a world of our own disgraces 
Camel Blue kisses
Or without regard
A concoction of totems familiar enough for you to bleed freely? There remains however
Our temple of our Four Corners, though.
You remember it, don’t you
You must
How could you forget
I won’t allow you to
Their Grand Ferry Park
Our Sapporo’s in paper bags
Hands held after
Even after fights 
Outside Vanessa’s 
The one by you
Transplanted from the village
Oils for the hangover.  

The smokestack there Still remains 
The bench where words were said
You said something Like on your roof
I’ve never forgotten
PJ knew it too
I knew her after you but
‘You are this city to me.’  

Two times you’d told me
The first a proclamation
The second a surrender to decision 
To you leaving 
We won’t go there yet
But the first my God
Muttered whisper ignites the waterworks
Lullaby under bridge’s rumble 
Commotion of stampeding thunder
You mumble
Soft rain in Spring
But Spring between Barrow and Morton only
I look up under bridges
Because on top is where you showed me where the river bent
You hold me
And the Hasids are watching
And the Freedom Tower’s going up
And the Empire’s not knowing what reigns will trump its spire.
The Domino sugar factory was still there, wasn’t it? 
Remember the cranes? 
Or Glasslands for rock? 
And the rock
You’d think this space was separated with glass
No touching.  

Camel Blue’s from your pocket
Another Sapporo. 
Clouds of smoke…
Though with certainty we’d know
It’d all soon change.
We knew we’d leave. 

The geotag was ours but so soon 
These towers would be new again
And they are 
Bleaching skyline and our promises
Into something out of Mars.  

The playlist is still going.   

Mommy’s thrown a football 
To her little boy 
‘Good one, Adam’
They’re playing sports now
The ones who’d grovel for a taco at our Union Pool
No, Theirs.

Perhaps they always did.
Grow, I mean
Grow into something they had to be, by choice or missed train
That shaped into them Gwenyth Paltrow yuppies with cleats and doggy-walking apps.
Perhaps I never noticed
Seeing now
As city people grow
And move and have
And watch and grow I held on expecting it to stay the same 
For a dream of you and me
Perhaps Should LA ever burn
We’d have concretes where Blue Bottle used to be,
Remember when that was new?
How’re your wedding plans coming along?   

Wishing wells erode over time and 
Yet there still remains
Our chiseled
Relics of the beaches for which we would lay for even dead Winter’s Sun. 
People like rivers and water, I
I wish
That these canyons
Came with drains
So once all was dry I could climb down and spelunk
Maybe then I’d find
The reasons why you left me 
After choosing me
Your City
Your place, apparently, 
But yes,
Your ghost,
Searching the streets that led us through our high lives I haunt them now,
Right now
These mesas
And these bars of cities we once knew,
As if for the first time, and always that
Whiskey’s tasting old.