Around North St.

by Ellianie Vega

I cut my hair for the first time in years
in the minutes your father was dying;
my body growing lighter while his soul
sunk below his feet and into the
earth that births and buries us.

Your voice on the phone breaks
distance between us, sounding stretched
and pulled, clipping and crying, so
after work I walk into the seance
of your living room, where you conjure
a better man than the one you knew
because his body can’t be here.

Your mother, in grief, can’t stand the whining
dog that’s grown too big for your house,
so you drag it outside, and I drag you
outside, in a circle around North St.
where every sidewalk is cracked and
sprouts summer weeds, making the
most of a bad situation.

I don’t know what I’m doing.
I’ve never been here before.
I don’t know the knowing
that someone won’t walk
through the door, so I drag you
around the blocks while you speak
yourself in circles, walking the many
routes that lead you back to his
memory, and know that he has merely
taken the road leading him back
to the
we all come from,
a route we will all one day
discover by mistake.

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