This Old Town

A Poem By Madeline // 9/7/2017

Look here
She said, extending her
A side-eye swipe
Peripheral vision

I am
I said, turning my
Obedient, obsidian
My lights were out.

This town was crafted by
Fairies and Men.
The ones behind flowerpots
Left perfume on the blueprints
and I
like it, quite honestly
the quaint artifice
It’d not be strange to see
A housewife wrapped in
a spring-breeze dress and
Yanking on Billy
or Tom
going to the bakery for a
dozen cookies that she’d
pile on a plate
with careful precision to
keep corners from crumbling
like she’d made
And I think
that is this place.

So here
I begin
stabbing a finger at
crumbling brick
The swift
of it
berates me

That’s where I
went to pretend
in shades of
Knights and

I am too old
to be
picking up this sword

Her mouth is grim
I find her lips
in the way they
lock and refuse
to open

She nods
a two-three step
I guess.

And here
says I
Pointing to a
lit marquee
(they kept the lights going but
don’t show any movies

it looks pretty)
Where I saw my first
Love scene
And giggling
I am in that pilled and
sour seat

They left the plastic letters up
from the last showing and they
spell out
Despicable M
sans E
and their popcorn was
always stale
but tasted like
Community, I tell her
how we all turned out on
the final night
before it closed how
the age-withered women
biddied together
to talk about the
old actors they’d paid
twenty-five cents to see

There were runs in
the carpet and it was
even on
Shoed feet.

She steps on a crack in the sidewalk
But I toe my way past
The wives’ tales of childhood
Drummed up to make us
Absolute in our footing and
I want to tell the
Water Department
It has.


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