it was in a nice neighborhood, that duplex. the kind
where the luxury sneaks up on you; you turn a corner
and it pops it’s polo collar: rich. my first time hanging
there I smoked a joint with some old tobacco rolled in
on a wet outdoor patio. we were barefoot, and the damp,
dark wood had small puddles hidden around. I remember
succulents in painted pottery, probably drowning.
next door to us was a massive house. it had tall windows
around the exterior, giving us a high-angle, fantastically
voyeuristic view of a gorgeous interior. these looked
like California folk to me. I scoffed and mocked their wealth
because it was easy. I smoked and passed that joint that had
been rolled for me by a friend.
the last time I was at that duplex I noticed something else.
there were no books! I found a shelf near the patio door.
earlier I had looked at the pictures and knick-knacks, and that
had been enough. tonight I had come in on a drinking game
involving cards and I was not familiar; no one was talking to me.
I felt too sober, which is a rarity. so I scanned that shelf for a book
this time. same football trophies, same old pictures, from school:
looks like high and middle. but those black & dusty Ikea-looking slabs
were empty of literature. I tell ya, I found three spines. one was a
book of cocktail recipes. hm, that’s predictable. I think two were
drink-listers. I gave up on the third, which was unlabeled on the spine
and drab. yeah, I was judging. maybe you’ve noticed a motif in this poem.
(it wasn’t on purpose) the point is