Blackbirdan online journal of literature and the artsSpring 2018  Vol. 17 No. 1
an online journal of literature and the arts
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Letter to the Neighbor after We Moved to the Good Part of Town

Jeff, I brought you pomegranates
from our tree.
Jeff, this is the first crop
from land called mine. I’m a city boy.
A homeboy.

My wife & I once lived in a cracked
apartment on the bad side
of town where you can get anything
if you’ll pay dearly enough.

We lived near the freeway
where homeless men push fruit-
filled carts—empty bottles & beer
cans, blue tarps, torn cardboard,
& hidden under an army blanket,
a solitary, folded picture.

When we married, we purchased
a home near train tracks where junkies
harvest track marks & each full moon
we dreamed them howling, love-
struck coyotes.

Jeff, I brought you this basket
of firstfruits because I’m one of the
good ones.

So if one night, you should drive-
by on your way home from work,
collared shirt, in your weakness,
reeking of coffee & tobacco
& secret whiskey, if you should see
me, a tattooed
on the roof of his house, a quart of malt
liquor & what looks like a glass pipe
in my hands, & if you should hear me bark
at the dark sky’s bright bounty,
Jeff, remember this treaty of pomegranates
we made.  

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