We drove into the city at night
on a freeway lined with lights
past car dealerships hunkered down
for the evening on the edge of town.
From the back of the VW wagon
where I had a pallet of sorts
I watched this new city appear behind me
as it spooled out in the rear window.
The next morning I stepped
out and gasped to steal a breath
from air as thick and sticky as my
grandmother’s make-up in church.
A tree made for climbing dominated
one side a the vast expanse of lawn;
I clambered up the trunk and
perched on a limb, an eight year old
human bird child afraid to fly
but not so scared that I wouldn’t try.