#NationalPoetryMonth 22/30

The Central Valley is an aging
fruit tree breaking concrete
with the knuckles of its toes

The sidewalks stay warm
under naked feet slapping
from one street lamp to the next

— from “Southpaw Curse”

Today’s read: Shadowboxing: Poems & Impersonations by Joseph Rios – Omnidawn Publishing – 2017

I miss walking through New York City. It’s always been a different thing for me. When I first moved out to Oakland I walked around but it wasn’t the same and it’s still not the same. Oakland is the city I have learned how to run through. A city that I can spot old architecture and bright murals. So many murals that tell me bits of story but I don’t have enough personal backstory to fill in the gaps. Even fifteen years later and I can only fill in small cracks in the asphalt. New York hit different. I remember walking hours through the Bronx as a kid because I had to make a choice. I could either get on the bus twice, or I could walk the whole way and have money for a slice and paper cup of soda. I was young and loved pizza so I walked, got lost, then found my way under a train line. When you walk like that in a city summer, the heat compounded by the sparkle of cement, your mind goes places. It turns those trapped crystals into mirrors. You see more than gum stains, piss marks, and blood trails; you find your way home.

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