When I was young the avenue seemed to
coil its split ends along the broken bones of our house
through the cool gold light
the scarred trees shook and
grasped the silver chain along which it was planted.

We used to walk the mile to
Atlas on the causeway that they built to spread
bony fingers between our island and the
mainland, to scalp the sick green water in
a vertical crest to eastward reaching meridian heaven

This is where I remember seeing the men
emerge and board the M60,
barlights dimmed in lieu of quietly buzzing faces

And I remember returning
to see her sitting on the stoop in late August playing hook & eye
with the mosquitos
his Volvo screaming up the block to greet her

The only Gods I’ve ever known were made of light
wires and electrical heartbeats:
from my parents’ window I could see the ferris wheel
peel back the cusp of the night
and on New Year’s Eve
they light up all the boardwalks and
the spooning coast puckers with low-lying stars

When I was young our house sat in the shadow of the
sea of scarred trees parting in the wake
of the God-dotted city,

the beading causeway
lights bowing to catch her

So now, you understand,
that after all,
the rain-splattered cardboard houses
seem to me to be the resting place of all the
sadness of the earth

when the lucid daydreamers pass by
to catch the metro home.