Eraser Dust

A chalkboard to record the names
of childhood heroes. It would be better
if they could rhyme. It would be better

if they could be segregated
from the ones accumulated
later in life. No relatives. No future

lovers. No dead people—although
there’s one rule I might choose to break
over the sound of that ceaseless clapping.

It

Is all that’s left
of the Let It Be Records sign.

She’ll walk on shoulders
of highways—the ones singers warn

might not be too safe. He’ll go back
to Rockville

when all’s said
and done. CT not MD. She can’t go back

to a town
that was never hers. Saudade

can’t be measured
in miles or years left abandoned on corners.

A Natural Hollow in the Ash

Is where she leaves
her messages. There was a to him
till there wasn’t.

She can’t write
away the ache of witnessing
a parent slowly evaporate

on life’s bark
while still being here. Only a temporary
empty, she’ll be retrieved—

dents banged out,
recycled, refilled.

Then she’ll rest in those concave
curves and remember the name
he gave her might mean Ash.

Ten that Almost Got Away

1. I realize I’m the only one
wearing a hat on the walk to work.

2. Finally find the $100 math error
in a fee proposal.

3. Wonder about green
roofs in strong winds.

4. Wait for a pedestrian
foothold in rush hour traffic.

5. I drift through skyways
with everything on mute.

6. Don’t buy a banana
that’s too yellow.

7. Contemplate the green
banana that never ripened.

8. Notice cufflinks
on sleeves for the first time.

9. I’m relieved to be
ring free.

10. Ready to go home.