Mike Wilson

American Avenue

I haunt houses on the right side 

of an uphill street to home

                                      

                                                Inside a house

at the bottom, bathtubs are filled by a

therapist who shuffles tarot and charges

me for my own labor


                                      The driveway with

a basketball goal, I pick up the ball and

shoot, too young to trespass boundaries

I think are no more than handy labels for 

location


               A lane leads to a secret cul-de-sac 

where Paul died. I visit his abandoned 

house, front door always open, never

step in but a few feet, hearing something

I can’t see

                   an old black man rushes out like

lava, pinwheel stars on either side, his 

children

                pins me on the ground, his 

angry words meant to scare, he 

wants to be left alone.


                                         Near the

head of the hill a bronze Confederate 

general on a horse corrodes to light

green, folds into itself like a stomach 

ache, a writhing ball of snakes 

slippery, shrinking small enough 

to slip into a sack and haul away.


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