When I Lived On West Main, by pd lyons


When I Lived On West Main

When I lived on west main street
third floor Victorian
Short walk for the liquor store past a little unnamed park
Not too far from down town

landlords’ cousins on the first floor
Stole my unemployment checks
put sugar in the gas tank
and I don’t know why

We had a Great Dane, brindle dog
got a cut on the end of his tail
And no matter what we did
He’d wag the bandage off.
Going up and down the stairs, hit the railings
Drops of blood splatter
As if his name was Jackson.

we bought a parrot
called em Caesar
Filled the living room with plants
And let him fly around.

Got oil lamps to save on electricity.
Tall hurricane lamps,
Scented oil glowed in every room.
Tall well screened widows let the sky in.
Wood floors creaked waltzed all night by ghosts.

I went to work in a toy shop.
I was happy about the baby.
Still painted. Still wrote every day.
Still thought I knew who we were.
It was the place where I’d smoke cigarettes,
As much as I wanted up into the middle of the night,
In that rocking chair your grandmother used to own.
Out over the roof tops, streaming lights, distant highways,
Weight of endless summer in the dark.

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