erasure of a letter to the current homeowners:
Dear moment driving through a double take.
I grew up. twenty years ago.
I never thought the reason I’m starting
poetry was cultural preservation,
new sense of rootedness.
at twilight on the eve
everything at first sight was confirmed.
The street history with deep roots
this house feels like an ancestor.
ownership of this legacy deserves care.
The perfect sweet space to run.
We are enamored.
Twenty years ago I never
It’s funny how life works.
After we approached,
“Does this feel like coming home?”
Thank you for considering us.
view from the front porch
with biological anthropology in the background:
the performance of living well is an intrinsic
aspect of living well. predating social media,
this ability to meta-experience one’s own
experience is an innate function of the human brain,
arising from its abundant cortical matter;
because of this divergence from other primate species
we then judge both our experience
and our meta-experience. authenticity
is a measure of the extent to which we are able to
pretend our performance is nonexistent—our ability
to perform nonperformance. the delta between
the people we imagine we’re becoming and
the people we are, as evidenced by our experiences,
becomes a source of anxiety. every day people
drown trying to cross the threads of alluvium,
which can be unexpectedly deep long before the
receiving ocean comes into view.
stainless-steel appliances, light fixtures
tasteful in their modernity, stucco walls
of a grandparent’s home, functioning fireplace,
painted radiators, restored hardwood floors.
stale Goldfish crackers in the crawlspace
behind the closet. doorknob wobbly. leaky
in the cellar, white mold. a whole beam
insufficiently supported—yawn that won’t
close under the dining room.
and the steps to the bulkhead storm door: hopping
with those big-kneed crickets that love the dark
and a pile of slugs, rippling with slime.