Tuesday, June 26, 2007

I'd Like To Go To Pittsburgh

I want to go to Pittsburgh
and see some grass and some trees
and walk down Forbes Avenue
and stand in the shadow of the Cathedral of Learning.

I'd like to go to Pittsburgh
where the ghost of the old me lives, back on Oakland Square.
I didn't mean to leave her behind--how did that happen?
She would hardly recognize me now, you know.

She is back there somewhere, still wearing her blue jean overalls
and wool clogs
and cutting her own hair
and wandering up and down Atwood Street.

Now I wear impossible work clothing,
all pretty dresses and fancy shoes.
Fancy, fancy shoes.
Now I rush up and down Second Avenue, which smells of pee.

I need to go to Pittsburgh,
and practice breathing slowly.
In and out. In and out.

It's been so long since I've had a sunburn.
The good kind, the kind that you get from drinking beer
in a sunny field and losing track of time.

The kind that when you go to bed at night you can still feel it on your face,
and then you sleep deeply and without dreaming
and wake up the next morning
filled with the urge to eat pancakes.

I never realized I would miss these things so much:
Barking dogs running through a backyard
smoky bars filled with rock music
and all of the stars in the sky at night

Just one week and I'll be home.