the past is just ahead

we drove from the airport

cars parked on the freeway

which has never been free

we took a road

that used to be an orange grove

decades ago

before

the roman calvary

before

bugsy siegel

before

reality was televised

back when you had to be there

we tried to find the house i was born in

and it took us ten trips

around the block

to realize that we kept passing it

back then

it took up a whole city

in my mind

now it’s squeezed between

rows of houses

gasping for breath

bumper crops of stucco

planted in concrete soil

it is an orchard once again

of human waste

and architectural indifference

our childhood is consolidated

objects in the mirror

are closer than they appear

yet they are so much smaller

than we remember

memories go on for miles

but reality stays in one place

dehydrated

like so much fruit

sealed in pastic

our dreams deflate

as we get older

so that they take up less space

and what do we do

with the room that is made

with the space that is left

we fill it up

with whatever they have to sell us

fast food

that seems to take forever

slow sex

that’s over before we know it

tinier lives

in bigger houses

and when we made love

on my childhood lawn

as the sun came up

over the valley

you said

“the past

is always just ahead

waiting

for us to catch up”

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