Exit through the Bounce House

The city of flowers is gone;

the flowers died

an unnatural death; the houses quiver

from the chill of their ghost inhabitants,

who were all the fathers and mothers

we’ve ever known.

Yes, we too lived there,

a truth we remind ourselves often,

where horses carry silver carriages,

(for how else do our princesses travel?)

clip-clopping beside metallic boxes with pipes

that let out gas and stifle the flowers

(for how else does a city like this die?);

where kids like us had a slide and a tunnel

and a bounce house built like a basket case.

From the birth of dawn to the vault of dust,

from one confused generation to the next,

we enter and exit; we sweat and fall and swipe

the dirt on our feet, the red clay that sticks

to your heels like glue; we kick and holler and

swallow the ragged thirst in our throats, the animal

that pinch at our skins; and the blood

sticks to our heels like glue but this,

we remind ourselves, is children’s play so

what can we do but overdose,

clotted breaths from dusty lungs

clogging the air like soot.

 

 

Life repeats the only

script ever written until

you stoop to listen

 

to the faint exhales from beneath

the crumpled skin of a tree, peel it off,

watch the brittle layers crack and fall,

hear the words of the phantoms there inhabit:

Here you are again, children of the city of flowers,

all grown up now playing the same game

you can’t get out of.


[Photo by me]

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