The time keeps sliding by
in that same sickening yearly circle
but not that much is actually changing.
I am back in February,
this same weekend, like I was 3 years ago
when the neighbor’s Pit Bull got loose
and tore open the throat of an old German Shepard
in front of 89 Luquer Street.
We were home that day,
for a change,
having finally carved out a small piece of sanctuary on that jagged island.
All the yelping, followed by the neighbors screaming,
brought our homespun peace to a screeching halt.
From the window, with the phone in my hand, and the bored 911 operator in my ear,
I watched that old dog fight a losing battle.
We all did.
There was a crowd of screaming Puerto Ricans stepping away from the blood
as if it was going to make any difference.
The old man who owned the German Shepard, poked at the mouth of the Pit Bull with his cane, almost like he was begging to be next.
Later they would have to hose the blood off the street
and some people left flowers on the brownstone steps.
I remembered you crying,
saying someone should do something,
but I couldn’t. I could just stare at the two dogs, the tangle of teeth, bone and blood
and wait for the end,
like everyone else on the street did. You asked how we could live here, like this
but I was so detached, at that moment, I was never going to be the same.
How patient that pit bull was
as if he had his whole life to drain that other dog dry.
There is no blood outside my window now,
no Puerto Rican gangs fighting, the chattering angry Spanish.
No drunken poor woman yelling out the apartment window,
cursing the god that failed her.
There are no teenagers in red, cutting cocaine in the car,
Or playing dice on the street as we walk home
with Chinese takeout. They always stood back
to part the way for us, and often smiled. I smiled back.
But I also kept my key between my fingers
like you showed me.
No outside my window, there is nothing but white people
white snow and gray sky.
Buffalo isn’t Brooklyn, and that was the very reason I came here.
I traded pain for ease. I can’t remember how many times I have made that mistake.
So in the end, I guess it’s me that can’t be satisfied
as I glance around the apartment and fret over how many books we have piling up,
wondering what size moving truck we are going to need this time.
And yes, it is partially about running away, but it’s also
about wondering when I’m ever going to feel the way the rest of you feel.
And at home.
The ache and frustration finally cooled with a dying hiss.
To settle into a life, a routine. To live in the present instead of the past and future.
To move on, in same way.
To stop counting the years between the dead and living as if it meant anything.
Mostly I wonder, if I ever do settle,
will I have the strength to end it then,
cause really, what am if I am not wanting something more?
What else do I have?
20 hours ago