i can never go home again

not really

not ever

the first memories went up in smoke along with my red metal firetruck

grandma’s house burnt in a failed suicide attempt by an aunt

the longest stretch spent now condemned, radioactive, a wasteland

there were spots so hot that the winter snow melted away

the home where family became broken, where my innocence died, where i lost my virginity after a bulls playoff win, just a shell, a tortoise den of inequity

i can never go home

too many ghosts haunting the air, not enough salt to get a moment’s peace, too many broken pieces, of growing up broke, lashing belts and hate filled words

not an exorcist alive that could heal the possessions lost in flame, in anger, drowned in tears of anguish

when the ride takes me to the bottom floor, where rock bottom is a happy memory, i walk those cobweb filled corridors

converse with the restless spectres that languish in the dust

they leave no trail, the dead seldom do it seems, just a pile of empty cans and the faint scent of old spice and marlboros hanging limp in the stagnant air

and i want to go home

but there is nothing left but old warrants and misery, places that remind me of what has beenost, what has been tossed in the bin, the remains all that remain

skeletal images of wasted youth

i was just the fat kid with the smart mouth, running from the cops and towards more trouble

stealing cigarettes from the fridge, hiding beer in the closet, sneaking kisses under the bridge

nothing left but ache and regrets and the smell of lilacs dancing through the open window

i know my old home like the back of a stranger’s hand now

and i can never go back

so i let the malaise hold me like no lover has for what seems so very long now

the depression my confidant, these words my only release

of cottonwood dander blowing in the wind and a milk crate nailed to the tree, white trash basket for a white trash soul

hiding behind the old oak at grandma’s smoking butts from the ashtray, feeling like the coolest six year old ever

the beating that brought

of cousins that couldn’t stand me because my last name was different, always the outcast even among those where i should have fit the best

too clever, too lost in the labyrinth of my mind, in books, in pencil sketches, playing alone

the broken sidewalk where it was explained how i ruined everything

the long bike ride to shoplift books from the mall, uphill to crime, downhill to hidden world

places i will never see again, not in life at least

imagine if there is a hell it will look just like home, the one in my head at least

the one i can not return to except in the fuguelike state of sorrow and grey skies

so pardon me

these spirits won’t torment themselves, chains rattling doesn’t have the same affect if they aren’t wrapped around my chest

and these tears are mine

for home


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