Poem: What Has Become of Home—Or Somewhere Only We Can Go

Your Thunderbird shakes us this way and that, but up we go over the dirt and grass that stains your car over faded paint. Your tires straddle paths where water corrodes the hills, cutting it in half as though the earth might open and swallow them whole.

Past the single-story house with a construction truck frozen in the backyard, ready to build dreams and fulfill promises. The peach walls and the clay roof and the wooden front door are enough to make your heart race and your mind whirl, and suddenly the dreams of those homeowners become yours.

Past the house and down the hill into a valley of garbage—home to an old mattress, sofa chair, beer bottles. Home to a dumping ground for some prick who thinks the world is only his oyster.

Past the graveyard and up, up, up through a labyrinth of hills and roads oft’ traveled. Up, up, up your little bird crawls. Each bald tire spins, screeching rubber digs, pushing toward the top.

Past the fields of dead grass up to our knees, searching for someplace to lay our weary heads when finally, the car stops, jilting me forward. Cut the engine. I step into the dry, cold February air, breathing for the first time, with you—blankets in tow. The dying grass becomes our mattress and old comforters our fortress.

The midnight sky transforms—a ceiling. The constellations become our dearest friends when Columba coos our names, and Auriga watches wary as we tell each other secrets never heard before. Gemini watches two souls become one when love became our deliverer.

We shiver in the cold, clinging close and hiding in the shelter of our covers, where you held the fragmented parts of me together, so I, in turn, could behold your weighty depths and awe at the parts of you once hidden out of sight. I swam your murky waters, and it sewed the many pieces of me together.

That dirt became our foundation and those mountains our shields. The cities below, our entertainment, and we the hosts of the parties in heaven.

Of course, we fell in love there.

Of course, we made it Home.

No matter how far apart we drift, Home beckons me back to it, for my heart has become those hills and those mountains and that golden earth and the cold air and the shimmering friends, and the man who made that valley magic.

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